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.
Vigils have been held across the US in honor of Michael Brown, the black teenager killed by police in Missouri.
Moments of silence and protests were held in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and elsewhere, five days after Michael Brown, 18, was fatally shot.
After four nights of violence in Ferguson, Missouri, where Michael Brown died, state police took charge of security.
In contrast on Thursday evening, state troopers and local police walked with protestors, shaking their hands.
Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, an African-American who grew up nearby, was named as the new head of the operation.
As he walked at the front of a march through the streets, he was seen hugging people he met.
“We all want justice. We all want answers,” Ronald Johnson said.
For the first time, the reverberations from this Midwest town were felt nationwide with dozens of vigils organized by a social media campaign.
Vigils have been held across the US in honor of Michael Brown, the black teenager killed by police in Missouri
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 had 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”.
Governor Jay Nixon then announced that the state highway patrol would direct the security operation.
Hours later, reporter Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post summed up the change in atmosphere on the streets of Ferguson.
“At this time at night on Monday, residents were in real fear for their lives,” he said.
“Tonight they’re taking selfies with cops.”
The tension in Ferguson had been sparked by the death of Michael Brown on Saturday afternoon.
Details about the incident have been disputed but eyewitnesses said the unarmed teenager had his arms raised when he was shot multiple times by a police officer.
Police say there was a struggle and the officer suffered facial injuries.
The authorities are under pressure to release the officer’s name, but they say they are worried that his life and that of his family could be in danger.
Four nights of violence have seen heavily armed riot police firing tear gas at demonstrators and looting, arson and the throwing of bottles and Molotov cocktails.
The mysterious priest who anointed a car crash victim and then vanished before rescue workers could thank him has been identified as Reverend Patrick Dowling who works with the Diocese of Jefferson County, Missouri.
Patrick Dowling revealed he was the religious figure who appeared at the side of Katie Lentz, 19, after she was injured in a head-on collision on August 4, in a comment under a story on a Catholic news website on Friday evening, but his confession went largely unnoticed until Monday.
The incredible story went viral as some assumed the mystery priest was an angel or deceased Catholic saint Padre Pio, had persuasive powers of conversion and could heal the sick.
But Patrick Dowling, under the article on the National Catholic Register site, explained he was in fact responsible for the apparent divine intervention.
He said he had been filling in for a sick priest at Mass and was on his way home when he came upon the crash scene.
Authorities had closed off the area and were re-routing traffic but Dowling waited until he could get closer.
“I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident,” Patrick Dowling said.
“I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently.”
He said he left the wreckage just as the helicopter was about to leave to take Katie Lentz to hospital.
Interestingly, he said he told someone on the scene his name but it must not have been passed on.
He then thanked the hard work of the first responders.
Reverend Patrick Dowling revealed he was the religious figure who appeared at the side of Katie Lentz after she was injured in a head-on collision
“God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due,” Patrick Dowling explained.
In a statement to The Blaze, a spokesman for the diocese, Deacon Dan Joyce, confirmed Patrick Dowling was indeed the faith healer responsible.
“Fr. Dowling said that he is pleased that he was able to help by performing his ministry and noted that that he was just one of many who responded to assist the victim at the accident,” the statement reads.
“He and the Diocese wish to acknowledge and thank the first responders, medical team and law enforcement personnel for their efforts that morning in aid of the young woman injured in the accident.”
Fr. Patrick Dowling, a native of Kilkenny, Ireland, was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City in 1982 and has served at parishes in Moberly, Monroe City, Indian Creek, Milan, Unionville and Eldon, Missouri, and in the diocese’s mission parishes in Marcona and Nasca, Peru.
He is currently serving in prison ministry and in parish ministry to Spanish-speaking Catholics.
Emergency workers had been battling for an hour and a half to free Katie Lentz after the head on collision, but to no avail.
But as they joined hands the priest appeared, even though there were no bystanders and the road was blocked, who offered a prayer and an instruction to the rescuers that they would now be able to free her.
Suddenly, heavy equipment needed to cut through the metal arrived from a nearby town and Katie Lentz was pulled from the wreck in time to be saved – but when they turned to thank Patrick Dowling, he was gone.
“He came up and approached the patient, and offered a prayer,” Chief Raymond Reed said of the then-mystery priest to KHQA-TV. “It was a Catholic priest who had anointing oil with him. A sense of calmness came over her, and it did us as well.
“I can’t be for certain how it was said, but myself and another firefighter, we very plainly heard that we should remain calm, that our tools would now work and that we would get her out of that vehicle.”
That is when officers from the neighboring Hannibal Fire Department arrived with their jaws-of-life and Katie Lentz was pulled to safety and put into an air ambulance to hospital.
Turning to thank the guardian angel who had arrived from nowhere at their lowest ebb, the emergency crews could not find him.
The highway had been blocked for a quarter of a mile each end during the hour and a half rescue and no bystanders and parked cars were anywhere near the crash site on Highway 19 near Center.
“We would like to find this gentleman and be able to thank him,” Raymond Reed said before Patrick Dowling identified himself.
“As a first responder, you don’t know what you’re going to run into. We have a lot of tools, and we have intensive training. In this particular case, it is my feeling that it was nothing more than sheer faith and nothing short of a miracle.”
Katie Lentz suffered several broken bones to repair her legs, but her friends and family say that her spirit has been boosted by the somewhat divine intervention.
“Both of her legs are very damaged,” Katie Lentz’s friend Amanda Wiseman said.
“Her wrist is broken, several broken ribs, so she’s had a lot of broken bones to deal with.”
Chief Raymond Reed said rescue crews were struggling to cut through the strong metal of Katie Lentz’s Mercedes.
“It was a very well-built car, and when you compact materials like that one, they become even stronger because you’re cutting through multiple things instead of one layer,” Raymond Reed said.
Raymond Reed says Katie Lentz was pinned in between the steering wheel and the seat and the prayer was offered just as he was told by the paramedics that Lentz was failing.
“Where did this guy come from?” Katie Lentz’s friend Travis Wiseman asked.
The driver of the other car in that accident, Aaron Smith, has been charged with a DWI, second degree assault and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway.