77
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      NAACP: Feds should investigate black teen's death

      FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) A local NAACP chapter has called for a federal investigation into the death of a black teenager who was shot by police in a St. Louis suburb.Eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed Saturday afternoon near his grandmother's house by a Ferguson police officer. St. Louis County police have not given a reason for the shooting, which happened in a predominantly black suburb a few miles north of downtown St. Louis.After the shooting, a confrontation between police and hundreds of neighborhood residents lasted several hours, with shouts of "kill the police." At the height of the post-shooting tensions, police called for about 60 other units to respond to the area in Ferguson, a city of about 21,000 residents, about two-thirds of whom are black.The St. Louis County Police are investigating the shooting. But John Gaskin, a member of the St. Louis County NAACP, said the FBI should get involved "to protect the integrity of the investigation."He alluded to the 2012 racially charged shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was subsequently acquitted of murder charges, as well as the New York man who died from a police chokehold after he was confronted for selling individual cigarettes."With the recent events of a young man killed by the police in New York City and with Trayvon Martin and with all the other African-American young men that have been killed by police officers ... this is a dire concern to the NAACP, especially our local organization," Gaskin said.State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that she would ask the U.S. Justice Department on Monday for a formal investigation.Brown's grandmother, Desiree Harris, said she saw him running in her neighborhood Saturday afternoon. Just minutes later, she heard a commotion and went outside to check on it. She found Brown's body less than two blocks away."When I got up there, my grandson was lying on the pavement. I asked the police what happened. They didn't tell me nothing."Harris said her grandson had recently graduated high school and was looking forward to the future."My grandson never even got into a fight," she said. "He was just looking forward to getting on with his life. He was on his way."Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, had harsh words Saturday for authorities: "You're not God, you don't get to decide when you get to take somebody from here," she told KSDK.Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told the Post-Dispatch that the officer involved has been placed on paid administrative leave."We are hoping for calm and for people to give us a chance to conduct a thorough investigation," Jackson said.___Associated Press writer Maria Sudekum contributed from Kansas City, Missouri.
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