Ferguson Shooting: 2 Police Officers Shot During Protests

Two police officers were shot during overnight protests in Ferguson, Missouri, the St. Louis County Police Department said.

A St. Louis County officer, 41, was struck in the shoulder, while a Webster Groves police officer, 32, was struck in the face, said county police chief John Belmar, who spoke to media members outside of Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis.

“These police officers were standing there, and they were shot just because they were police officers,” Belmar said.

The officers are listed in serious condition, police said.

Belmar said at least three shots were fired from an undetermined location north or northwest of the Ferguson Police Department building.

“We have seen in law enforcement that this is a very, very, very dangerous environment for the officers to work in regarding the amount of gunfire that we have experienced up there,” Belmar said.

Tensions simmered in the city Wednesday after the resignation of the city’s police chief, Tom Jackson. Hundreds of protesters gathered throughout the night, staring down police officers in riot gear.

A handful of people were arrested. Some people chanted, and other flare-ups were reported, unrest rekindled after a Justice Department report documented widespread racial bias in the city.

Jackson’s resignation makes him the sixth person who has been fired or forced to resign since the report was released March 4 detailing what it described as rampant racial bias in policing in the St. Louis suburb.

Lt. Col. Al Eickhoff will take over as the acting chief of police starting today as the city launches a national search for a new chief of police, the letter stated.

Jackson had initially come under fire in August for his department’s handling of the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

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