Four days of peaceful protest in the Missouri town of Ferguson came to an end on Monday as a community and its supporters paid homage to African-American youths killed in recent weeks by police. But tempers flared at the end and some fifty arrests were made as protesters struggled with police.
In nearby St Louis, where police shot a third person last week the town hall was occupied in a smaller demonstration.
“I’m here today because I’m a pastor, and because I believe that all lives matter and black lives matter, and none of our children should be fearful when they’re walking down the streets. We can’t lose another child or young person of colour to police violence or to brutality,” said one woman.
“My message? Is we got to be out here. We got to support. We got to be out here all the time, and it can’t just be this. It has to be when our students, when our young people are pushed out of schools, when they’re pushed into prisons, when they are pushed onto the streets, when they are pushed into the grave. We have to be out here for them,” said a young man.
A spate of killings of unarmed suspects by police in Ferguson and St. Louis have sparked soul-searching across America about the state of policing and race relations, which, say many, have little changed in places since before the civil rights campaigns of the 1960s.