Police fire smoke canisters at Missouri protesters and media

FERGUSON, MISSOURI Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:40pm EDT

FERGUSON, MISSOURI Aug 17 (Reuters) - Police fired smoke canisters into a crowd of about 400 demonstrators, including families with children, in Ferguson, Missouri, Sunday night, where they were protesting against the killing last week of an unarmed black teenager by police.

Police drove into the protest area in armored vehicles and shot smoke canisters at watching media representatives during a protest that had until then appeared to be peaceful.

However, the Missouri Highway Patrol said it was using the smoke canisters to disperse "aggressors" who were trying to infiltrate a law enforcement command post, and that the armored vehicles were deployed to ensure public safety. (Reporting by Ellen Wullfhorst; Writing by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Paul Tait)

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