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Protesters angered by the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by police faced off with officers in south St. Louis for a second night as accusations of racial profiling prompted calls for a federal investigation ahead of a weekend of planned peaceful rallies. State and city leaders have urged the Justice Department to investigate the death of Vonderrit D. Myers in the Shaw neighborhood Wednesday night, fearing he was targeted because he was black. Police say the white officer who killed Myers was returning fire, but Myers' parents say he was unarmed.
"This here was racial profiling turned deadly," state Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, a St. Louis Democrat, said at a news conference Thursday. Myers' death comes two months after the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a black unarmed 18-year-old, by a white police officer in nearby Ferguson, Missouri. Following a quiet candlelight prayer vigil for Myers, hundreds of people joined a more rowdy gathering in Shaw to protest his death late Thursday. Protesters yelled abuse and profanities to taunt police officers in riot gear, who silently stood their ground. Officers used pepper spray to force the crowd back. Some protesters burned the American flag, while others banged on drums and shouted "This is what democracy looks like!" Some slammed the sides of police vans. Broken glass littered the street.
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