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US authorities suspend policeman who threatened Anadolu journalist in Ferguson

The US authorities yesterday suspended a policeman for having waved his weapon at an Anadolu news agency correspondent and threatened him with death while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri.

The news agency reported St. Louis Country police spokesman Brian Schellman as saying the police officer had been suspended from work for an indefinite period pointing out that the officer works at St. Ann Police Department near the city of Ferguson.

Schellman explained that the policeman’s superiors believe that his actions were inappropriate.

The US police in Ferguson threatened Anadolu correspondent Bilgin Şaşmaz while he covered clashes between protestors and the police.

“Şaşmaz was confronted by the harsh intervention of the police. He was forced to lie down after he insisted on filming before he was handcuffed and put in a cell. He was released after five hours,” Anadolu reported.

Wide spread protests have been taking place in Ferguson, Missouri, after a white US police officer killed black teenager Michael Brown, 18, on Saturday August 9. The police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and arrested journalists and protestors.

The protestors raised banners reading “Do not kill me, I surrendered”, “Justice for Michael” and “No peace without justice”.

According to witnesses, Brown was unarmed when he was shot by a police officer as he raised his hands in surrender. US police say Brown was killed after he attacked a police officer and tried to steal his weapon.

Missouri governor Jay Nixon announced a state of emergency and set up a curfew on Sunday in order to control the protests, but the measures did not curb the protests which grow on a daily basis.

Anadolu announced yesterday that it would start a live broadcast of the protests starting from 6am (Turkish local time) today.

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