posted at 19:50
Author Name: Jennie Matthew
US National Guard deployed as Ferguson protests
At the Ferguson police station a cordon of 50 riot police faced off across a road with around 100 noisy protesters chanting and waving placards, including one that read: "We will not be silenced." Lawyers for the family of slain youth Michael Brown denounced the prosecutor whose grand jury hearing found that police officer Darren Wilson had killed the 18-year-old in self-defense. Civil rights firebrand Al Sharpton said the Brown case renewed a nationwide fight for greater police accountability. Separate protests flared in Cleveland, Ohio, following the fatal shooting by police of a 12-year-old black boy holding a replica gun at the weekend. Despite appeals by Brown's family for calm in Ferguson on Monday, protests rapidly degenerated into looting, arson and running street battles between police and stone-throwers. Protesters shot at police, robbed locally-owned stores and set cars and buildings ablaze in what police said was the worst violence since Wilson shot Brown. The August shooting sparked weeks of protest and a nationwide debate about military-style police tactics and race relations. Brown's death, the aggressive police response to protests and now the result of the grand jury hearing have stirred racial tensions in Ferguson, a mainly black suburb with a mostly white police force.

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