State of Emergency Declared After Violence in Ferguson, Missouri

St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson pushes the media and others back as protesters are arrested outside the Thomas F. Eagleton Federal Courthouse, Aug. 10, 2015, in St. Louis.

VOA News,August 11, 2015

Officials in the central U.S. state of Missouri declared a state of emergency Monday, in the embattled city of Ferguson, hours after violence erupted on the first anniversary of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger declared the emergency after prosecutors filed 10 charges against an 18-year-old suspect accused of shooting at an unmarked police car late Sunday before four officers returned fire and critically wounded him.

"The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger," Stenger said.

His state of emergency will allow county Police Chief Jon Belmar to take control of law enforcement in and near Ferguson, although it was not immediately clear what steps police might take to preserve order.

While Ferguson swept up after Sunday’s violence, about 50 people were arrested Monday in front of the courthouse in the nearby city of St. Louis.

At least 150 people had marched peacefully several kilometers from a St. Louis church, demanding federal action to stop unfair policing. They were arrested when they blocked the courthouse’s entrance.