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article imageMissouri cops look for suspects in officer shootings in Ferguson

By Nathan Salant     Sep 29, 2014 in Crime
Ferguson - Missouri law enforcement officers in the St. Louis suburb where deep racial schisms were exposed last month are continuing to look for suspects in two separate shootings involving police.
Authorities have been quick to assure residents that the shooting of a Ferguson, Mo., police officer on Saturday and a shooting attack on an off-duty St. Louis officer driving on Interstate 70.
St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman told the Washington Post newspaper Monday that the shootings did not appear to be related to each other, or to weeks of racial unrest that have rocked Ferguson since an 18-year-old resident was killed by police last month.
Residents took to the streets by the thousands to protest the Aug. 9 slaying of Michael Brown on a suburban street in the primarily black community, and protested nearly every night for a month after being met by hundreds of heavily armed police officers firing tear gas and rubber bullets at largely peaceful crowds.
Tensions had been quieting down in recent weeks, with a couple of exceptions, when the weekend shootings occurred.
On Saturday, a Ferguson police officer was shot in the left arm after stopping a man behind a closed community center.
Schellman said the man began to run and began shooting at a police officer who had tried to question him, and the officer was struck once in the arm.
The police officer, whose name was not immediately made available, fired back at the man, but Schellman said the officer did not think the suspect had been hit.
The police officer was wearing a body camera but it had not been turned on when the incident occurred, Schellman said.
Early Sunday morning, someone fired multiple shots at a personal vehicle being driven on Interstate 70 by a St. Louis police officer, who was not in uniform at the time.
Several shots struck the vehicle, breaking glass, but the officer was not seriously hurt, Schellman said.
But police in the city and Missouri State Highway Patrol officials brought in to help with the unrest have reported threats and violence since protests began.
In another development, police officers working in Ferguson have been asked by the U.S. Justice Department, which is investigating the Brown shooting, to stop wearing bracelets supporting Darren Wilson, the officer accused of the shooting, and to stop covering nameplates on their uniforms, the Post said.
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