Washington, Aug 20 (IANS/EFE) Forty-seven people were arrested overnight in Ferguson in the US state of Missouri after protestors hurled bottles at police in fresh outbreak of violence over the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by police 11 days ago.
Until a little before midnight, protests in Ferguson were peaceful, unlike the previous days when clashes began as soon as night fell.
Clashes broke out after rioters threw glass bottles at the officers, leading to the arrest of 47 people, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said at a press conference.
Most of the demonstrators, including many children and families, had staged peaceful protests during the day and returned to their homes before dark, as recommended by authorities.
Unlike the previous night, in which two people were wounded by gunfire and 78 were arrested, this time there were no tear gas or Molotov cocktails used and no shots were fired, Johnson said.
According to the captain, the influence of community leaders was decisive in calming the angry protestors and convincing them to restrict their protests to daytime hours only.
Several reporters covering the racial disturbances in Ferguson confirmed on social networks the arrest of many of their colleagues. However, their identities have not been revealed and there has been no official confirmation yet.
Meanwhile, US Attorney-General Eric Holder called for an end to the violence and promised a complete, just and independent investigation into the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer 11 days ago.
We understand the need for an independent investigation, and we hope that the independence and thoroughness of our investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in Ferguson. In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence on the streets of Ferguson, said Holder in an open letter to the people published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The suburb near St. Louis has been shaken by racial protests for over a week, leading to a number of injuries, arrests and destruction.
Reports Wednesday of the shooting death of a 23-year-old black man by police in St. Louis, six km from Ferguson, threatened to spark new demonstrations.
The man, who was armed with a knife, was shot when he tried to rob a food store, police said.
Meanwhile, federal authorities are independently investigating the events that took place Aug 9, when Brown was shot dead by a police officer in confusing circumstances.
The decision to deploy the National Guard, the state military that is usually mobilised during natural disasters and to deal with public disorder, could not calm down the situation in Ferguson Monday, which saw one of the most violent protests since Brown's death.
Although these acts have been committed by a very small minority -- and, in many cases, by individuals from outside Ferguson -- they seriously undermine, rather than advance, the cause of justice. And they interrupt the deeper conversation that the legitimate demonstrators are trying to advance, Holder said.
The attorney-general added that his department was working in a just and exhaustive manner to discover what exactly happened in the case of Michael Brown.