Police used tear gas to disperse protesters in Ferguson, Missouri on Sunday. Reuters

Police fired tear gas at protestors in Ferguson, Missouri, after 9 p.m. Sunday, the ninth day of demonstrations following the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Demonstrators fled for safety as the gas was fired at the southern end of the protest area, toward Salway Avenue, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities told demonstrators: "Get off the street now."

Several shots were fired near West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive about a half hour earlier, the newspaper's website reported. A woman was taken away by ambulance and seven people were arrested.

For the second night in a row a curfew was to take effect at midnight. Thousands of people took to the streets, some holding signs, others driving past slowly in cars and honking their horns.

All gathered in the name of Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old student who was shot by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson Aug. 9. Witnesses said Brown held his hands in the air as the officer fired multiple shots. Police maintain Brown reached for the officer’s gun.

The incident has taken the nation by storm, with celebrities (turned activists) commenting on the event. “Grey’s Anatomy” star Jesse Williams, who plays Dr. Jackson Avery on the hit ABC show, alleged there was “bizarre behavior” surrounding Brown’s fatal shooting."There is this idea that every time a black person does something they automatically become a thug worthy of their own death," the actor said on CNN Sunday.

Earlier in the day there were pleas to stem the violence and the mood was festive as night fell, the Post-Dispatch reported.

"People can assemble and march all they want to," St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley told a reporter. "This is America, you know what I mean?"

The New York Times reported Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald S. Johnson apologized at Greater Grace Church for Brown's shooting, saying, “My heart goes out to you, and I say that I’m sorry. I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton urged demonstrators to vote, not loot, at a rally in Ferguson hosted by Brown's family, Sharpton's National Action Network and the National Bar Association, the Los Angeles Times reported. Sharpton told the crowd there's a "difference between an activist and a thug." He also criticized the release of a robbery report that named Brown as a suspect and a convenience store surveillance video that appeared to show him stealing cigars and menacing the clerk just before his confrontation with Officer Darren Wilson.

Brown's uncle Benjamin Crump characterized Brown's shooting as an execution, USA Today reported.

Early Sunday, one person was shot and seven were arrested after the curfew went into effect. Johnson said police used smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse protesters.

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