Second police shooting near Ferguson
As violent protests rage in nearby Ferguson in the US, a St Louis police officer shoots and kills a shoplifting suspect armed with a knife.PT1M16S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-3dzbs 620 349 August 20, 2014
St Louis, Missouri: Police from the US city of St Louis have shot dead another person a short distance from a suburb that is the scene of protests over last week's killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.
St Louis police chief Sam Dotson said in a tweet on Tuesday that officers had responded to a call and found an apparently agitated man armed with a knife who yelled "kill me now" and approached the patrol.
In a tweet from his own account retweeted by his force, Mr Dotson said: "Officers gave suspect verbal commands. Officers feared for their safety and both officers fired their weapons. Suspect is deceased."
Police officers briefly detain a person in Ferguson on Wednesday, where riots have gripped the city for days. Photo: Reuters
The world's media descended on the street where the latest police shooting took place, dozens of reporters having been in the nearby suburb of Ferguson covering the unrest.
Onlookers gathered at the yellow incident tape sealing off the scene of Tuesday's shooting outside a convenience store in St Louis, some of them chanting the slogan of the protests: "Hands up, don't shoot."
During continuing demonstrations in Ferguson police said they came under gunfire and made 31 further arrests. Police and activists expect further unrest, despite President Barack Obama breaking from his holiday at Martha's Vineyard to call for calm. Some African-American leaders have criticised Mr Obama for not saying more about the incident, but Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defence and Education Fund, said the President's actions were more important than his words.
"I understand the feeling of many people, that as an African-American president they want to hear from him," she said. "But we have heard from him, you have the deployment of the resources to ensure that justice is done."
On August 9, Darren Wilson, a white police officer in Ferguson, shot and killed unarmed black 18-year-old student Michael Brown, triggering more than a week of sometimes violent protests against heavy-handed police tactics. Mr Wilson has been placed on "administrative leave" but there are growing calls for his arrest.
Since then, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has replaced Ferguson's police leadership with state police in an effort to quell violence. National Guard troops have been dispatched and US Attorney-General Eric Holder has travelled to the state in an effort to investigate the circumstances behind the death of Mr Brown.
Mr Holder's appearance coincides with the beginning of a Missouri grand jury's hearing evidence into the shooting. The incident and accompanying images of armoured trucks shooting tear gas and flash grenades at protesters have drawn international attention to the St Louis suburb of 21,000, turning it into a symbol of racial inequality and heavy-handed police tactics in the US.
Chinese media have weighed into the incident, with state media publishing commentaries on Monday and Tuesday accusing the US of hypocrisy in seeking to be a global guardian of human rights.
"This is probably the largest protest launched by African-Americans in recent years," the nationalistic Global Times wrote in an editorial on Tuesday. "It tells us that racism still overshadows minorities in the US even while they have got a black president."
On Monday, the Xinhua news service struck a similar theme. "The Ferguson incident once again demonstrates that even in a country that has for years tried to play the role of an international human rights judge and defender, there is still much room for improvement at home," wrote Xinhua writer Li Li.
While state media do not always reflect the views of China's leaders, strong commentary is rarely published unless the Communist Party approves.
Egypt urged US authorities on Tuesday to exercise restraint in Ferguson, echoing language Washington used to caution Egypt as it cracked down on Islamist protesters last year.
Iran and Syria also lambasted the United States, but while they are frequent critics of Washington, it is unusual for Egypt to criticise such a major donor.
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European and American Affairs Takht Ravanchi accused Washington on Monday of "racist behaviour and oppression", the Fars News Agency said.
In Syria, another US adversary, a bulletin from state news agency SANA accused police in Ferguson of "racist and oppressive practices".
Agence France-Presse, McClatchy, Reuters