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Fresh racial unrest in St Louis after police shoot black suspect


Fresh racial unrest in St Louis after police shoot black suspect

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POLICE SHOT and killed a black man in St Louis on Wednesday in a killing that drew angry crowds ten days after protesters marked the anniversary of the police shooting of an unarmed teen in nearby Ferguson.

St Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the shooting took place as officers were attempting to execute a search warrant in a crime-ridden neighbourhood, when two young black men ran out the back door of the targeted house.

Police officers confronted the suspects in the alley behind the house and one suspect pointed a gun at officers who then fired approximately four times, killing him, Dotson said.

Despite the police explanation of events, dozens of people gathered near the scene protesting the police use of deadly force, according to local media.

Police in SWAT gear and an armoured vehicle ordered the crowd to disperse and some people were taken into custody, according to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Dotson told journalists the gun the suspect pointed at them was determined to be stolen. He said officers also recovered crack cocaine at the scene.

“Detectives were looking for guns, looking for violent felons, looking for people that have been committing the crimes in the neighbourhood,” he said.

The shooting comes 10 days after the St Louis area was inundated with protesters from around the country marking the anniversary of the August 9 police killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer.

Brown’s death last year helped spur a nationwide movement against what protesters say is a pattern of police violence against minorities. (Reuters)