After Shooting, Hands Up Becomes Protest Gesture
Governor pleads for calm in Ferguson, Mo.
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 13, 2014 5:45 AM CDT
Police in tactical gear stand in a street in Ferguson yesterday.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(Newser) – Protesters infuriated by the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo., have adopted a new protest gesture: the "hands up" gesture witnesses say 18-year-old Michael Brown was making when he was shot dead in the street. Protesters have been using the gesture to confront police, putting their hands up and chanting "Hands up! Don't shoot," the Los Angeles Times reports. "If you're angry, throw your arms up," the Rev. Al Sharpton told supporters. "If you want justice, throw your arms up. Because that's the sign Michael was using. ... We want answers why that last sign was not respected."

After two nights of rioting, the St. Louis suburb was restless again last night, with tear gas fired into a crowd of protesters, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A man who allegedly pointed a handgun at police was shot and critically wounded, but it's not clear whether the incident was related to the nearby protests. At a church meeting last night, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for calm, saying, "We stand together tonight, reeling from what feels like an old wound torn open afresh," the AP reports. At another church rally, Sharpton also called for calm—but urged police to release the name of the officer who shot Brown. Ferguson police say they decided against releasing the name of the officer, who witnesses say is white, after receiving death threats. The community is around two-thirds black, but there are only three black officers on its 53-member police force.

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Aug 14, 2014 5:54 AM CDT
Regardless of the appearance and hearsay, every citizen and police officer according to the laws of the USA is innocent until proven guilty. These vigilantes, looters, and anarchists are no better than any other criminal and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We are a nation of laws, let the justice system work. Otherwise, we will plunge into anarchy.
Aug 13, 2014 9:36 PM CDT
How did his start? Did it just feel natural?
Aug 13, 2014 7:05 PM CDT
The question remains unanswered ; Why did the young man shove the officer back into his car, and struggle to get his gun?