Violence in Ferguson: Police Fire Tear Gas, Smoke Bombs at Demonstrators

PHOTO: A protester takes shelter from smoke billowing around him, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
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Violence erupted in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, for a fourth straight night Wednesday, with police firing smoke bombs and tear gas at demonstrators and some people lobbing Molotov cocktails. Racial unrest lingers in the St. Louis suburb following a weekend police shooting of an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

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"What do we want? Justice," the protesters yelled. A state senator said she had tear gas thrown at her.

Demonstrators carried signs as police helicopters circled overhead.

PHOTO: A protester holds up a sign as a police helicopter circles overhead, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A protester holds up a sign as a police helicopter circles overhead, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

People distributed buttons featuring Brown's picture. "Justice for Michael Brown," the buttons state, featuring silhouettes of raised hands. A witness says Brown's hands were raised when he was fatally shot.

PHOTO: Buttons that state Justice for Michael Brown are piled together in a box in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 13, 2014.
David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP Photo
PHOTO: Buttons that state "Justice for Michael Brown" are piled together in a box in Ferguson, Mo., Aug. 13, 2014.

The heavily armed police at times trained weapons on the citizens from an armored truck.

PHOTO: Police attempt to secure a street after a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: Police attempt to secure a street after a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Police, dressed in riot gear, repeatedly warned the protesters to leave.

Police fired smoke bombs soon after, trying to get the crowd to disperse.

Smoke rose on the street.

PHOTO: Police advance through smoke, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: Police advance through smoke, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Protesters returned fire.

PHOTO: A man picks up a flaming bottle and prepares to throw it as a line of police advance in the distance, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A man picks up a flaming bottle and prepares to throw it as a line of police advance in the distance, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

The clashes marked the fourth consecutive night of fighting in Ferguson.

PHOTO: Police officers work their way north on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., clearing the road with the use of tear gas and smoke bombs, Aug. 13, 2014.
Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP Photo
PHOTO: Police officers work their way north on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., clearing the road with the use of tear gas and smoke bombs, Aug. 13, 2014.

One demonstrator tried to kick a smoke grenade back in the direction of police.

PHOTO: A protester kicks a smoke grenade that had been deployed by police back in the direction of police, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A protester kicks a smoke grenade that had been deployed by police back in the direction of police, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Police worked their way down the street, clearing the area of people.

PHOTO: Police officers work their way north on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., clearing the road of people, Aug. 13, 2014.
Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP Photo
PHOTO: Police officers work their way north on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., clearing the road of people, Aug. 13, 2014.

The situation showcases Ferguson's racial divide. Two-thirds of the city's 21,000 residents are black, while all but three of the police force's 53 officers are white.

PHOTO: A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, who has been the public face of the city torn by Saturday's death of 18-year-old Brown, told reporters Wednesday that his department welcomes Justice Department training on racial relations.

"Unfortunately, an undertow (of racial unrest) has bubbled to the surface," said Jackson. "Race relations is the top priority right now."

PHOTO: An explosive device deployed by police flies in the air as police and protesters clash, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: An explosive device deployed by police flies in the air as police and protesters clash, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.

Brown was shot multiple times by an officer the police have refused to identify. His body lay slain on the sidewalk for hours as first Ferguson police and then the St. Louis County Police Department processed the scene, drawing immediate criticism aimed at the police for not removing his body more quickly.

PHOTO: A device deployed by police goes off in the street as police and protesters clash Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a police officer.
Jeff Roberson/AP Photo
PHOTO: A device deployed by police goes off in the street as police and protesters clash Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo., the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a police officer.

Police detained two reporters Wednesday, including the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery, who wrote a first-person account of his arrest.

Antonio French, an Alderman of St. Louis City's 21st Ward, was also arrested, French's wife said. French had spent previous nights posting videos from the streets of Ferguson online, revealing first-hand perspectives into the devastation and suffering.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon weighed in, calling for law enforcement to respect the rights of residents and media members.

"Situation in Ferguson does not represent who we are," he wrote.

The St. Louis County investigation of the shooting could take weeks to complete, Jackson said. The FBI is also investigating for potential civil rights violations.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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