Thirty one people have been arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, during another night of angry protests.
Ferguson unrest flared hours after President Barack Obama called for calm following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9.
Attorney General Eric Holder is due to visit Ferguson on Wednesday, August 20, to meet federal officials investigating the killing.
The National Guard has been deployed to support police operations.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the National Guard deployment on August 18, in addition to lifting a night-time curfew imposed on the weekend.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman, named Darren Wilson, in a street has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black community of Ferguson.
Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on August 9 after reportedly stopping him for walking in the street.
Police Captain Ron Johnson said officers were forced to use tear gas and stun grenades on Tuesday after they came under “heavy gunfire” and were attacked with petrol bombs and bottles.
He said two people were hit by gunfire from demonstrators, insisting that officers did not use their weapons.
Ron Johnson appealed to demonstrators to protest in the daytime to prevent a “tiny minority of law breakers” from deliberately sparking violence.
Thirty one people have been arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, during another night of angry protests (photo CNN)
“Anyone who has been at these protests understands that there is a dangerous dynamic in the night: it allows a small number of violent agitators to hide in the crowd and then attempt to create chaos,” he told journalists.
Those arrested include people from other states, including New York and California, Capt. Ron Johnson said. Correspondents say this suggests the protests are becoming more organized.
In an earlier statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said he would “personally travel” to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet FBI investigators and prosecutors.
“I realize there is tremendous interest in the facts of the incident that led to Michael Brown’s death, but I ask for the public patience as we conduct this investigation,” he said.
Eric Holder added that the investigation into the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown was “a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond”.
Separately, President Barack Obama said he understood the “passions and anger” provoked by the death of the teenager.
Barack Obama also stressed that giving into anger “by looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos”.
The president said he recognized that in many communities in the US a “gulf of mistrust” existed between local residents and law enforcement.
“In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear,” he said.
Earlier, Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York pathologist hired by Michael Brown’s family, performed an independent post-mortem examination.
Dr. Michael Baden said he believed six bullets struck the teenager, two of which may have re-entered.
“All of the gunshot wounds could have been survivable, except the one at the top of the head,” he said.
Dr. Michael Baden said there were no signs of a struggle, as abrasions around Michael Brown’s face were likely from falling to the pavement after being shot.
He also believed Darren Wilson did not shoot him at close range as there was no gunpowder residue on his body, suggesting the officer was more than 2ft away.
Witnesses have said Michael Brown was shot as he held his hands up in a position of surrender, while the police and supporters of Darren Wilson have said he fired during a fight with the teenager.
Officer Darren Wilson has been suspended with pay since the shooting.
Michael Brown’s family has called for his arrest.
Another post-mortem on Michael Brown will be conducted by the US justice department, in addition to examinations by Dr. Michael Baden and St Louis county officials.
The National Guard has been sent to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an order to “help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson”.
The decision was made as police clashed with angry crowds shortly before a second night under curfew began.
Police in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, said they came under attack and had “no alternative” but to respond.
Captain Ron Johnson said protesters had thrown Molotov cocktails and bottles at security forces, and set up barricades before the five-hour curfew began at midnight on Sunday.
“For those who would claim that the curfew was what led to [the] violence, I will remind you this incident began three and a half hours before the curfew was to have started,” Ron Johnson told journalists in Ferguson on Monday.
Correspondents at the scene described seeing smoke clouds rise up as police began to disperse the protests on West Florissant Avenue, with a helicopter beaming down a spotlight.
Some of the demonstrators were spluttering and poured bottles of water into their eyes as they felt the effects of tear gas. Others sought cover from the unrest inside a fast food restaurant.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman in a street on August 9 has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black suburb.
The National Guard has been sent to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown (photo AP)
Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown after reportedly stopping him for walking in the street, disrupting traffic.
Governor Jay Nixon has criticized police for releasing surveillance video which apparently shows Michael Brown stealing some hours before his death.
Jay Nixon said the release of the footage “appeared to cast aspersions” on the dead man, saying “it made emotions raw”.
He also condemned the protesters: “These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes.”
A preliminary post-mortem examination by the St Louis County Medical Examiner’s office on the day after Michael Brown’s death found he had been shot, police said, without disclosing how many times.
However, a preliminary private post-mortem report has since revealed that he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, the New York Times reports.
The bullets did not appear to have been fired from very close range due to the lack of gunpowder on the victim’s body, forensic pathologist Michael Baden was quoted by the paper as saying.
Michael Baden flew to Missouri on Sunday to conduct a separate autopsy at the request of the family.
Officials last week confirmed that Darren Wilson was a six-year police veteran with no previous complaints against him. He has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has criticized Ferguson police for releasing a surveillance video which apparently shows shooting victim Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store.
Jay Nixon said the release of CCTV footage nearly a week after Officer Darren Wilson shot black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, St Louis, “appeared to cast aspersions” on the dead man.
“It made emotions raw,” Jay Nixon told ABC on Sunday.
Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal post-mortem on Michael Brown’s body.
Riot police used tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse protesters overnight as they defied a curfew in Ferguson. The curfew is being extended for a second day, beginning at midnight on August 17 and running for five hours.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman in a street on 9 August has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black suburb.
It caused dismay across the US while images of riot police deployed in an American city suburb have made headlines worldwide.
The video “appeared to cast aspersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street”, said Governor Jay Nixon.
On Saturday, Jay Nixon declared the curfew after looters targeted stores in Ferguson overnight.
Governor Jay Nixon has criticized Ferguson police for releasing a surveillance video which apparently shows shooting victim Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store
Seven arrests were made as police used smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse a crowd of about 150 in Ferguson, after being called to the scene of a disturbance at a restaurant after the curfew started.
A police car reportedly came under fire and a person was hurt in an apparently unrelated shooting in the same area.
As police were nearing the restaurant, a man with a handgun went into the street but ran away, AP news agency reports.
Someone also shot at a police car but it was not clear if it had been hit.
In the same area, a person was shot and critically wounded and police were searching for the attacker.
Demonstrators complained that the curfew would make matters worse.
Jayson Ross, who was leading the protesters toward the police before tear gas was fired, was quoted as saying by AP: “They got guns. We got guns. We are ready.”
Local politician Antonio French, who was with the protesters, tweeted: “Too many young men talking about they’re ready to die tonight.”
The US justice department is investigating the shooting of Michael Brown, with 40 FBI agents dispatched to Ferguson to gather information.
The justice department said on Sunday that Eric Holder had ordered a federal post-mortem examination at the request of Michael Brown’s family, in addition to a Missouri state autopsy.
A preliminary autopsy by the St Louis County Medical Examiner’s office on the day after Michael Brown’s death found he had been shot, police said, without disclosing how many times.
Earlier, the lawyer for Michael Brown’s family, Anthony Gray, announced that it had hired one of America’s most famous forensic pathologists, Michael Baden, to conduct an independent examination.
Michael Baden, 80, has worked on investigations into the deaths of such public figures as President John F. Kennedy, the punk star Sid Vicious and the family of the last Russian emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, according to a profile on Fox News, where he works as a TV host.
Darren Wilson, a six-year police veteran with no previous complaints against him, has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
Darren Wilson had reportedly stopped Michael Brown for walking in the street, disrupting traffic.
Michael Brown was a suspect in a robbery just moments earlier he was shot by police on Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, police have said.
Michael Brown, 18, was one of two men suspected of robbing a nearby convenience store, police say.
Minutes later he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson after a struggle, Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson said on Friday.
The killing sparked days of violent protests in Ferguson.
Thomas Jackson described the robbery at the convenience store as being committed without the use of a weapon.
Police released to the press pictures of a well-built black man intimidating a clerk in the store.
The report identifies Michael Brown, who is described as being 6ft 4in and 292 pounds, as one of the robbers.
It says he “grabbed a box of Swisher Sweet cigars” and handed them to a second suspect identified as Michael Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson.
Since the shooting on Saturday, Thomas Johnson has given a number of interviews in which he has said Michael Brown held up his hands in an act of surrender before being shot by the officer.
He has not mentioned his involvement in any robbery.
Michael Brown was suspected in strong-arm robbery before being shot by police
Darren Wilson, the police officer said to have shot Michael Brown, is a six-year veteran of the police force with no disciplinary record, Thomas Jackson said.
Thomas Jackson said he was treated for injuries sustained during the confrontation with Michael Brown, but he provided no other details of the deadly encounter.
Members of the majority black Ferguson community reacted angrily to the announcement that Michael Brown was a police suspect.
The revelations came after days of furious protests in Ferguson over the killing, to which police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
On Thursday night, tension seemed to ease, at least momentarily, as state police took charge of security.
Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, an African-American who grew up nearby, was named as the new head of the operation.
The previous evening, the reverberations from the Mid-west town were felt nationwide with dozens of vigils organized by a social media campaign.
The event in Washington DC was attended by hundreds of people in Malcolm X Park, many holding placards saying: “Hands up. Don’t shoot”.
Similar vigils were held in New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and many other cities.
They came at the end of a day when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon likened the scenes of violence in Ferguson to a “war zone” and the police conduct was questioned.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the use of military equipment and vehicles in Ferguson had sent a “conflicting message”, while President Barack Obama said there was no excuse for police using “excessive force”.
Barack Obama has promised a full investigation by the US Department of Justice into the teenager’s death, and the FBI has launched its own inquiry.