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Police Use Tear Gas, Arrest 9 During Protests In St. Louis

Firefighters attempt to put out a fire at an abandoned building with the protection of St. Louis City Police in St. Louis, on Thursday.
Lawrence Bryant Reuters /Landov
Firefighters attempt to put out a fire at an abandoned building with the protection of St. Louis City Police in St. Louis, on Thursday.

Police used tear gas and arrested nine people during protests in St. Louis on Wednesday.

Demonstrators gathered after police shot and killed an 18-year-old they say pointed a gun at them. Police said protesters threw bottles and bricks at them, so they deployed armored vehicles and teams of officers in riot gear.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports:

"The Rev. Renita Lamkin of St. Charles, who regularly attended protests in Ferguson, went to Page Avenue with several other clergy members Wednesday evening. She accused the police of engaging in an overly aggressive response. "'There has to be a better way, but the better way is not to terrorize an already terrorized community,' she said. 'How they deal with the situation is classist and dehumanizing. The people here don't matter as much to them.' "Kayla Reed of the Organization for Black Struggle also said she believed officers were too aggressive toward a crowd 'that never was all that big.' She claimed officers gave no warning firing canisters of smoke and tear gas."

Police defended their actions saying they warned protesters their gathering had been deemed an unlawful assembly.

As the AP reports, officers were serving a warrant at a home in that neighborhood Wednesday afternoon. They encountered two suspects.

"The suspects were fleeing the home as [18-year-old Mansur] Ball-Bey, who was black, turned and pointed a handgun at the officers, who shot him," the AP reports. Police say they found four guns and crack cocaine at the home.

Of course, these protests come at a time when tensions in the St. Louis area are running high. The last few weeks have been marked by events commemorating the shooting death of Michael Brown.

The protests and clashes with police extended through the night. One vacant house was set on fire and the St. Louis Post Dispatch says police have received reports of businesses being set on fire.

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