Riots, Unrest in Ferguson, Mo., Spread Over Police Shooting of Teenager

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Unrest is halting business as usual in Ferguson, Mo., after Michael Brown, an 18-year-old who was reportedly unarmed, was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday afternoon.

Few details are yet known as to why Brown was shot, and outraged residents of the St. Louis suburb have been protesting for days. Protesters compared Brown's case to that of Trayvon Martin two years ago.

Rioters were met with tear gas, sonic cannons and riot police during a fifth night of unrest on Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.

Many were arrested, including a St. Louis Alderman, Antonio French, who was arrested but then released without charge after a night in jail. "Inside that jail is nothing but peacekeepers," French told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "They rounded up the wrong people... reverends, young people organizing the peace effort."

Brown was unarmed at the time of his death and witnesses said he had his arms up. The killing has sparked anger in Ferguson, Mo., where two-thirds of the population of 21,000 are black, numbers not represented in politics or on the police force. Only three out of 53 Ferguson city police officers are black.

The name of the officer who shot Brown has not been released. St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said that the officer had received death threats, and that his identity will not be released.

Provoked by this secrecy, the loose Internet collective Anonymous hacked the police department's computer system. It is still unknown exactly what information was obtained, and for what use.

The Ferguson school district has pushed the first day of classes to Monday from today, as unrest continues and as a national spotlight shines on the case.

-- Written by Nora Morrison in Cleveland, Ohio

Nora Morrison is an editor, writer and researcher on music, popular culture and business. She is an associate editor at TheStreet, and is on Twitter at No Ticker.

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