— Police in Missouri say they’ve been mistreating protesters at protests across the state in the wake of the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.
The city of Ferguson is home to a predominantly black community, and some of the protests have been peaceful.
But on Friday, police in Ferguson said they were in a situation where they had to use tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters from the city center, according to CNN affiliate KSDK.
The police chief said police were forced to use their weapons to disperse protesters because they didn’t have any other option.
The Ferguson Police Department says that in the past two days, officers have used tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and batons.
The department has also said that they have deployed the militarized police in riot gear to disperse the protests.
The officers who used the military-grade equipment said they feared for their safety and were unprepared to deal with the violence that erupted Friday night.
“When you look at what we have been experiencing in this town and the chaos that we are seeing, it is beyond anything I have ever seen before,” said Chief Jon Belmar.
Belmar said he wants the public to understand that police have been trained to deal aggressively with the protests that are erupting across the country, but the officers at the scene weren’t prepared for what happened Friday night and what’s happened in Ferguson.
Belamar said that police are trying to make it clear that they are not going to use force and that they will not tolerate violence.
The protests began last weekend after the police killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Brown’s family says the teenager was unarmed when he was shot by a white officer, and his death has sparked protests across America.
Protests against police brutality have grown increasingly violent since the killing.
In New York, protesters burned down a police car, and in Washington, D.C., people set fire to the police headquarters.
Authorities have said that some demonstrators have burned down public property.
Police have said they have used excessive force in the protests and have used lethal force against demonstrators.
On Friday, several dozen protesters gathered outside a courthouse in St. Charles, Missouri, where Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., was being tried for the killing of his son.
Protesters held signs that read, “I Am Not Your Negro,” and “Justice for Michael Brown,” which is a racial slur.
Some protesters wore masks to conceal their faces during the protest, and police had to put shields on some of them.
At the same time, protesters marched through the streets of Ferguson chanting and carrying banners that said, “Justice will be served.”
The protests also spilled into the streets on Saturday, with demonstrators chanting, “No justice, no peace, no Black lives matter.”
Protesters marched in the streets and blocked traffic, setting cars on fire, and looting businesses and vehicles.
Police used pepper spray on protesters, who then began throwing objects at police officers.
Several people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but there were no arrests, authorities said.
Protesters are still protesting in Ferguson, and the Missouri Department of Public Safety said they are looking into possible injuries in the unrest.
A local newspaper reported that the protests had grown to the point that they had created a “massive disturbance” in the downtown St. Joseph area, where the St Charles Police Department headquarters is located.