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Police come under "heavy gunfire" in racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 - 1:57pm IST | Agency: Reuters

Police came under "heavy gunfire" and 31 people were arrested, authorities said on Tuesday, in racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri sparked by the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white policeman 10 days ago. "Not a single bullet was fired by officers despite coming under heavy attack (on Monday night)," State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told a news conference, adding that police had confiscated two guns from protesters. 

Demonstrations, mostly peaceful but with spasms of violence by smaller groups, have flared since Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead during an incident with a policeman in a patrol car while walking down a residential street in Ferguson on Aug. 9.

The police have also been criticised for the use of extreme crowd control measures, including tear gas and rubber bullets, drawing severe criticism from the international community that has also started debates over the "millitarisation of the US police".

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(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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