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Police refuse to reveal who shot unarmed teenager as Obama calls for calm

The US president said while there is no excuse for violence against police, excessive force by officers could not be justified.

Police Shooting Missouri Police in riot gear walk towards a man with his hands raised in Ferguson. Source: AP/Press Association Images

POLICE IN A town in Missouri have refused to reveal the name of the officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, provoking major unrest in the days since it happened.

US President Barack Obama intervened for the first time this evening, calling for “peace and calm” in the suburb after the shooting, which has sparked allegations of racism by the police force.

Obama told reporters that while there was “never an excuse for violence against police, “excessive force” by officers could not be justified.

Source: The White House/YouTube

“Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson,” Obama said. “Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done”.

He added:

And here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who were just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.

18-year-old Michael Brown was shot several times on Saturday afternoon as he walked home from a nearby shop with a friend.

CORRECTION Police Shooting Missouri Michael Brown's father and mother, Michael Brown Senior and Leslie McSpadden, with a family photo of Michael. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The exact circumstances around the shooting remain unclear. The St Louis police have said Brown had physically assaulted a police officer and tried to take his gun.

However the friend who was with Brown said a police officer confronted them, drew his weapon, and shot Brown, who had his hands in the air.

Riots have taken place in the predominantly black suburb for the last four nights over the shooting, while last night saw tear gas and smoke bombs used by police to repel crowds who threw Molotov cocktails at them.

There have been growing concerns about the militarisation of police, who have deployed body-armoured officers with assault rifles and stun grenades to control the crowds.

Police Shooting Missouri Source: AP/Press Association Images

The US Attorney General said this evening that he is “deeply concerned” about the deployment of military equipment and vehicles by the police, saying that it “sends a conflicting message”.

“While [Michael Brown's] death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue,” said Eric Holder.

The mayor of St Louis, Francis Slay, has echoed the comments saying that the situation needs to be ‘demilitarised’.

Police have refused to release the name of the officer who shot Michael Brown, saying that there have been death threats against him on social media. the officer has been placed on administrative leave.

Additional reporting: AFP 

Ferguson teen shooting: Journalists arrested in McDonald’s > 

Teen shooting: Tear gas and smoke bombs used on protesters > 

Chaos erupts in Missouri town after police shoot dead unarmed black man  > 

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