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National Guard leave town as Ferguson tensions calm

Orderly protests appeared overnight.

Source: Associated Press/YouTube

THE MISSOURI NATIONAL Guard has been ordered to leave Ferguson, Missouri as a sense of peace began to appear on the streets of the St Louis suburb.

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who called on the National Guard on Monday, asked them to leave after another largely peaceful night last night.

The Guard’s role was limited to protecting a police command centre, allowing law enforcement personnel to free up resources for crowd control.

Police Shooting Missouri Members of the Missouri National Guard stand guard over a police command post. Source: AP/Press Association Images

“As we continue to see improvement, I have ordered the Missouri National Guard to begin a systematic process of withdrawing from the city of Ferguson,” Nixon said.

However, even as troops leave a city that has seen two weeks of rioting, violence and racial tensions, questions remained over the 9 August shooting of Michael Brown.

A grand jury is continuing to hear evidence about the altercation between Brown and four-year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department Darren Wilson, though a verdict could take weeks.

Police Shooting Missouri Rally Source: AP/Press Association Images

Last night, around 100 people gathered, walking in laps near the spot where Brown was shot.

Several protesters continued to call for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch to be removed from the case. Some question McCulloch’s ability to be unbiased since his father, mother and other relatives worked for St. Louis police. His father was killed while responding to a call involving a black suspect. He says he has no plans to step aside, however.

Tensions

A new poll released today shows that black and white Americans differ sharply in their opinions on the shooting of Brown.

A majority of blacks, or 57 percent, think that Brown’s shooting was “not justified,” the New York Times/CBS News poll found, a view shared by only 18 percent of white respondents.

And when it comes to the subsequent protests, which at times flared into violence and looting, 67 percent of whites said the demonstrators’ actions had “gone too far,” while 43 percent of blacks thought the same.

Asked if they believed local police forces should have military weapons and vehicles such as assault rifles and tanks, 80 percent of blacks said such equipment should only be for the military — and 65 percent of whites agreed.

With reporting from AFP and AP

Read: Grey’s Anatomy’s Jesse Williams on Ferguson: ‘I’ve never seen a white body left in the street for 4 hours’

Read: America’s long history of police riots – the short version

Explainer: What is happening in Ferguson, Missouri?

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