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10 Aug, 2016 15:56

Gunshots heard after car hits Ferguson protester on anniversary of Michael Brown’s death

Gunshots heard after car hits Ferguson protester on anniversary of Michael Brown’s death

Gunfire broke out after a car mowed down a protester in Ferguson, Missouri on the second anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown. Several people were injured, at least one person seriously.

The Tuesday night protest took place near and in the street, and the demonstrators sometimes impeded traffic, but retreated from the roadway when warned by police. The demonstration was held on August 9, the second anniversary of the death of Brown, an unarmed black teen who was killed during a confrontation with a Ferguson Police Department officer.

In a cellphone video of the protest, a driver can be seen barreling down a busy avenue and hitting a man who was standing alone in the middle of the road. The man is hit so hard that his shoes come off his feet as he is knocked several feet forward and to the curb.

"A lady came down and hit a protester – knocked the shoes off his feet," said Sharon Cowan, who was at the scene. "Hit him, and he rolled and he bounced."

The man remained on the ground as protesters gathered to tend to him before gunshots rang out, when the man got to his feet and quickly ran to take cover with the protesters.

WARNING: Video contains graphic content.

The man was reported to be badly injured, and was taken by a private car to a hospital, Cowan told The Chicago Tribune.

Police responded to reports of gunfire, but found no evidence that anyone had been hit by a bullet, said Ferguson PD spokesman Jeff Small.

The 2014 death of Brown at the hands of Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, was the catalyst for the Black Lives Matter movement. News media initially reported that witnesses and activists claimed that Brown had his hands up and was shot while running away.

However, the subsequent investigation determined that many of the initial reports were false, and many witnesses retracted or changed their stories. Forensic evidence showed that Brown was not, in fact, shot in the back, and that he was actually charging Wilson. A grand jury declined to charge Wilson, and he was cleared of civil rights violations by the Justice Department.