What started as a candlelight vigil for Michael Brown, the unarmed Missouri teen shot and killed by a police officer over the weekend, spiraled out of control into a full-fledged riot Sunday night.
Around 300 police officers from surrounding communities responded as mobs looted at least a dozen businesses and burned a gas station to the ground in Ferguson.
"We don't think that anybody was actually shot, however all night our guys were hearing shots being fired."
The rioting is being portrayed, in part, as a boiling-over of anger at Ferguson police over Brown's death.
Late Saturday and all day Sunday, the city saw protests and marches in the St. Louis suburb, with some in the crowds reportedly chanting "kill the police." (Video via CBS)
They accuse the unnamed officer of shooting Brown after he had submitted to an arrest. That differs significantly from the police department's story.
"Within the police car, there was a struggle over the officer's weapon." ...
"Hands in the air, being compliant, he gets shot in his face and chest and goes down and dies."
Both the local NAACP chapter and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial board said it's understandable that the community would be outraged. The board said, "They may get justice — in the form of a prosecution of the police officer ... but the odds aren’t stacked in their favor, and even if it happens, it won’t happen anytime soon."
But none of that justifies looting and violence, according to the person with the most cause to be angry: Michael Brown's mother.
"She tells me she is absolutely furious by what has unfolded tonight, that it is disrespecting the memory of her son, Mike. That it is not doing any good at all for the cause that she has which is to seek justice for her son."
Police were eventually able to bring the situation under control. The officer involved in the shooting is on administrative leave, and the department has yet to comment on whether they it believe the shooting was justified.