‘Ferguson police shooting heinous’

Police officers respond to a fellow officer hit by gunfire outside the Ferguson Police Headquarters in FergusonThe shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, was a “heinous assault” that could undermine police reforms, said the US attorney general.

Two officers were seriously injured early during protests following the resignation of the police chief after a damning report about racial bias.

Such violence was “repugnant”, Attorney General Eric Holder said.

The fatal shooting of a black teenager last year in Ferguson sparked protests about the police use of lethal force.

Shots were fired on early yesterday morning from about 125yds (114m) away as a demonstration was breaking up in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson following the resignation of the city’s police chief, Tom Jackson.

One officer was shot in the face and one in the shoulder, but both were released from hospital on yesterday.

Police have taken two men and one woman into custody for questioning, but no arrests have been made. –BBC

Police Chief Jon Belmar: “These two officers took a very hard hit”

Describing the “heinous assault”, Mr Holder added: “Such senseless acts of violence threaten the very reforms that non-violent protesters in Ferguson and around the country have been working towards for the past several months.”

President Barack Obama tweeted “violence against police is unacceptable” adding “Path to justice is one all of us must travel together”.

Several witnesses said the shots had come from a hill on the other side of the street from the crowd of protesters.

“We were very close to having what happened in New York last year,” Mr Belmar said in a press conference on Thursday, referring to two police officers shot and killed while on duty.

–BBC

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