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National Guard Arrives In Ferguson, But Clashes Continue

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FERGUSON, Mo. -- Strict new protest rules and the presence of the National Guard in Ferguson didn’t prevent fresh clashes with police on Monday night, the ninth night of unrest since unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer on Aug. 9.

Police fired several rounds of tear gas into the crowd after a small number of protesters reportedly threw bottles at the officers. Shots were fired, and the cops ordered everyone without media credentials to disperse, then evacuated the media center as well.

"Air smells like gun powder," the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery tweeted. "Not like tear gas. Gun powder."

The National Guard, deployed to Ferguson by order of Gov. Jay Nixon (D) Monday morning, was posted at the police command center so that local police could concentrate on monitoring the protest, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson told reporters.

The evening seemed to begin peacefully, with increased restrictions on where and how people could assemble. The QuikTrip, a meeting place for protesters on past nights, was closed off. Police told people that they had to keep moving or else they would be arrested, and the streets were closed off to cars early in the evening. The festive atmosphere of previous nights was replaced with solemn protests.

But tensions quickly rose after some in the crowd reportedly threw objects at police, who formed lines and told everyone to move back. An armored vehicle moved through the crowd, and several people took off running. CNN reported that white anarchists from outside of Ferguson were the ones throwing things at police.

Some protesters, led by Malik Shabazz, who is affiliated with the New Black Panther Party, tried to calm the situation and encourage people to keep walking and disperse. "We didn't want the news tonight to be tear gas and everybody running," he added. "The news tonight is that we're here for justice, for the arrest of officer Darren Wilson, we're here for Mike Brown and his family and we want an end to police brutality."

The police moved back the line and the tension in the crowd briefly eased before tempers flared again.

As a handful of people reportedly continued to throw bottles at police and protesters defied police orders to immediately disperse, the situation again intensified. Police fired tear gas at the crowd, and one person was reported to be shot. "That was the most intense tear gas yet," ANIMAL New York reporter Amy K. Nelson tweeted. "A photog collapsed right in front of me, said canister just rolled right beneath his feet."

"Multiple gun shots. Tear gas by Quick Trip. Escalation," New York Daily News reporter Pearl Gabel tweeted.

Police then ordered everyone who was not "credentialed media" to disperse, saying that someone had been shot and that it was no longer safe to be in the area.

Reporters on the scene noted that officers repeatedly pointed their weapons at protesters.

During a press conference early Tuesday morning, Johnson said two men were shot on Monday night. No update was available on their condition, but neither were shot by police.

Two fires were set on Monday, one at a business and one at an unoccupied residence, Johnson said. A molotov cocktail and two guns were also confiscated from a vehicle located near the police command center.

Although 31 people were arrested, many were not locals; authorities said that some of the people detained by officers came from as far away as New York and California. Johnson said good people were protesting during daylight hours, and are encouraged to do so again in the morning; however, "violent agitators" were taking advantage of a volatile situation.

"Protesters don't clash with police," Johnson said. "They don't throw molotov cocktails. It is criminals that throw molotov cocktails and fire shots."

Johnson backed the officers' actions, saying the protesters and members of the media were repeatedly asked to return to the sidewalks during clashes. We need to have the roads cleared, he said, for the everyone's safety.

When reporters asked why heavy vehicles and officers in full SWAT gear were facing off with protesters, Johnson said officers had come under fire during the unrest and four had sustained injuries from people throwing rocks and bottles. These units were only deployed into dangerous areas to help the wounded, he said.

Johnson also called for more peaceful protests, particularly during daylight hours. "Let's give attention to the peaceful... Let's not glamorize the acts of criminals," he said.

Monday night's clashes soured the optimism that officers and protesters alike seemed to share earlier in the evening.

Ruth Gordon, 73, was hopeful as she worked to keep up with police orders to move. "I know I’m a slow walker, but eventually I get where I want to go," she said. "God has enabled me to do that, and that’s what I’m doing. And we gonna get justice. We gonna get justice. I don’t know how long it’s gonna take, but until they bring the policeman in that did this shooting, there ain’t gonna be no peace."

"It’s coming," Gordon added. "Peace is coming. I can’t tell you when, but peace is coming," Gordon said.

Ryan Reilly and Amanda Terkel reported from Ferguson. Braden Goyette contributed from New York, Jade Walker contributed from New Hampshire.

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USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor provides an intimate look at how Michael Brown's parents have been dealing with the loss of their son:

Phones constantly ring with reporters asking for interviews or family members offering support. Last week, as demands reached a tipping point, both parents moved into hotels to shield themselves.

In the days leading up to the funeral, Brown's mother continued to cry and spoke in whispers as she tried to explain her feelings.

"They say tomorrow is going to be the hardest day, but I think today was — just seeing my baby laying there, cold," Lesley McSpadden, 34, told USA TODAY. "It did something to my heart. It's too much. It's too much."

Read the rest at USA Today.

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New audio has surfaced that allegedly captures the moment when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9.

CNN aired the unverified recording on Monday night. Six shots can be heard, followed by a pause, then several more. A private autopsy performed on Aug. 17 at the request of Brown's family found that the 18-year-old was shot 6 times, including twice in the head.

Read the rest here.

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USA Today reporter, Yamiche Alcindor shares photo of program which includes tributes to Michael Brown from his mother and father

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08/25/2014 11:57 AM EDT
Program For The Funeral
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08/25/2014 11:04 AM EDT
Noteworthy Funeral Attendees
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08/25/2014 10:58 AM EDT
Waiting For Brown's Family
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08/25/2014 10:57 AM EDT
Police Captain Ron Johnson Arrives
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08/25/2014 10:45 AM EDT
Mo. Sen. To Attend Funeral
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08/25/2014 10:37 AM EDT
Casket In Place

MSNBC reports:

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08/25/2014 10:35 AM EDT
Funeral Security
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08/25/2014 10:33 AM EDT
Brown's Father Asks For Peace
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MSNBC reports:

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08/25/2014 10:26 AM EDT
Hands Up
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Sanctuary Filling Fast For Funeral

CNN reports:

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Missouri congressman Lacy Clay (D) said on Thursday that he had "serious concerns" about the prosecutor in charge of Michael Brown's case.

"I also have serious concerns about the local prosecutors, about their ability to fairly prosecute this case in the interests of justice. To deliver justice to this community, or to Michael Brown's family. And I say that because we have a track record," Clay told CNN.

Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch has come under heavy scrutiny in the days following Brown's death. Critics say that McCulloch's ties to law enforcement will cloud his judgement and have called on Governor Jay Nixon (D) to appoint a special prosecutor instead. A petition against him has received over 70,000 signatures.

McCulloch's father was a police officer killed in the line of duty.

For his part, McCulloch has promised that his investigation will be fair and thorough. In a statement, he said:

I have no intention of walking away from the responsibilities and duties entrusted to me by the people of this community. Additionally, there is no basis in the law to do so. I have faithfully and fairly carried out those responsibilities and duties for more than two decades and will continue to do so for at least the next four years.

Nixon has also repeatedly insisted that he won't take McCulloch off the case.

Alana Horowitz

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From HuffPost's Dave Jamieson:

Like the rest of the St. Louis community, including their own teachers, Gateway students had emotional discussions about being black in America, about mistrust of the police, about peaceful demonstration and violent protest. They were asked to write down what they were feeling about Ferguson, with the assurance that no sentiments were out of bounds.

Click here to read excerpts from the responses penned by a group of 7th and 8th graders at the school.

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Washington Post reports that Darren Wilson was injured following a scuffle with Michael Brown before he shot and killed him.

A family friend told WaPo that Wilson's eye bone was fractured. Fox News reported similar information earlier this week, citing a police source.

Another source told CNN that these reports are false.

Last week, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that Wilson was taken to the hospital following the incident, but did not say for what.

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HuffPost's Arthur Delaney reports:

When Attorney General Eric Holder went to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, he assured local residents the U.S. Justice Department will swiftly investigate the police killing of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9.

In meetings with locals, Holder emphasized how his own past experiences will inform his work overseeing the Justice Department's investigation of Michael Brown's killing. He told students at a community college there that police searched his car when he'd been stopped for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike.

"I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me," Holder said. "The same kid who got stopped on the New Jersey freeway is now the attorney general of the United States."

But Holder's critics point out that this is the same man who was woefully soft on bad cops when he served as Washington, D.C.'s top prosecutor in the mid-1990s.

"Relying on Holder to take action is like sending a guy with a cup of water to put out a wildfire," said Gregory Lattimer, an attorney who has represented family members of people killed by D.C. police, including DeOnte Rawlings, a 14-year-old boy shot in the back of the head by an off-duty officer in 1997.

"[Holder] was part of the problem in D.C., not the solution," Lattimer said. "He says all the right things and then he goes out and defends the status quo."

Read more here.

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