Missouri Protesters Take to the Streets with 'Hands Up' Message

"Hands up, don't shoot" message spreads as heavy police tactics are questioned.
2:02 | 08/15/14

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Transcript for Missouri Protesters Take to the Streets with 'Hands Up' Message
The dramatic pictures from Missouri sparking reaction across this country about the kind of force, the scope of the force being used by police. The images we've been seeing of protestors face to face with rows of officers in riot gear, on line many drawing comparisons to scenes decades ago when protestors line up across from police. ABC's Ryan smith showing us how peaceful protests in the afternoon suddenly turned into a violent clash at night. And the debate now over how the police should respond. Reporter: By day, protestors have been largely peaceful. Demonstrators demanding justice. Arms raised. The message clear. Hands up don't shoot. Reporter: When nightfalls, a different story. The confrontation between police and protestors taking such a violent turn. Police bringing out those armored cars and an arsenal of heavy weapons. Tactics many argue are more appropriate for a war zone. Here a young man, hands up, confronted by heavily armed officers, inciting a fire storm of criticism. Many questioning if the police response fits the threat. Today police defended their actions. If fire bombs are thrown, property is destroyed, people are being shot at, we have to respond to deadly force. Reporter: But tonight, a change of tactics. With state troopers now taking over from local police. I know, that Ferguson will not be defined as a community torn apart by violence. Reporter: A movement to calm a crisis, that has struck a national nerve. Sparking a wave of Americans speaking out. You can't tune out Facebook and Twitter. Millions are talking about it. Reporter: At Howard university 00s gather for this picture tweeted with the on line rallying cry hands up, don't shoot. But people of all ethnicities across the country posting pictures in silent solidarity. As you heard the president say today, there is never an excuse for violence against the police, and no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests. David. His message pointed at both sides. Ryan, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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