ST. LOUIS — The police chief on Thursday unapologetically defended the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old who was killed by two white officers in a confrontation that drew protesters and unrest back to the streets.
Protesters pledged to stand firm. Said the director of a group called the Organization for Black Struggle: "We will not go away."
Mansur Ball-Bey, who police said had a handgun, was shot as officers raided a home in a violence-plagued part of north St. Louis. Within an hour of Wednesday's shooting, more than 100 people converged on the scene, taunting officers and decrying the use of deadly force.
A vacant building and at least one car were torched, police said. Officers responded with tear gas and arrested at least nine people.
The scene unfolded less than two weeks after violence marred the anniversary of the day Michael Brown was fatally wounded by a white officer in nearby Ferguson.
St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the crowd-control tactics were justified because officers were being hit with bottles and bricks and protesters refused to clear out of the roadway.
"I'd certainly much rather our officers focused in the neighborhoods, interceding violence before it happens," Dotson said Thursday, noting that some in the neighborhood implored police to leave them alone.
"It's kind of ironic that we're in that neighborhood where police services are most needed, and people are telling us not to do our jobs."