The Missouri Highway Patrol seized control of a St. Louis suburb Thursday, stripping local police of their law-enforcement authority after four days of clashes between officers in riot gear and furious crowds protesting the death of an unarmed black teen shot by an officer.
"All they did was look at us and shoot tear gas," said Pedro Smith, 41, who has participated in the nightly protests. "This is totally different. Now we're being treated with respect."
County police in riot gear and armored tanks gave way to state troopers walking side-by-side with thousands of protesters as the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teen was shot by a city police officer overwhelmingly avoided violence Thursday after nearly a week of unrest and mounting public tension.
The latest protests had a light, almost jubilant atmosphere among the racially mixed crowd, more akin to a parade or block party. The streets were filled with music, free food and even laughter.
. A demonstrator holds a sign during a moment of silence in Oakland, Calif. Hundreds of demonstrators observed a national moment of silence in solidarity with police brutality victims including Michael Brown.
. Families in Ferguson protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. Police in Ferguson have changed their procedure for dealing with the protests after being chastised for a heavy-handed approach which has resulted in four days of violence. On Thursday three police cars and four officers on foot led the way during a protest march.
. A group of people hold up their arms during a nationwide moment of silence at a vigil to remember Missouri shooting victim Michael Brown and other victims in Orlando, Fla.
. Gabriela Serrano, 21, left, and A.J. James, 27, listen to a prayer during a vigil for Michael Brown in San Francisco.
. A toy train joins a colorful scene on West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson on Thursday evening, as members of the community honked their horns and raised their arms in protest at the killing of Michael Brown.
. Capt. Ronald Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who was appointed by the governor to take control of security operations in the city of Ferguson, walks among demonstrators gathered along West Florissant Avenue.