National Guard, Police Curb Ferguson Unrest As Protests Swell Across U.S.

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Some 2,000 National Guard troops has helped ward off a second night of rampant looting and arson in suburban St. Louis after a grand jury refused to indict a white policeman in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August, and sympathy protests spread accross several U.S. cities. Reuters report:

President Barack Obama appealed for dialogue, and his attorney general promised that a federal probe into the Aug. 9 slaying of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, would be rigorous.

Officer Darren Wilson, the policeman who shot him, said his conscience was clear.

Despite a beefed-up military presence in Ferguson, a police car was torched near City Hall as darkness fell, and police fired smoke bombs and tear gas to scatter protesters. A crowd of demonstrators later converged near police headquarters, scuffled with officers who doused them with pepper spray, then smashed storefront windows as they fled under orders to disperse.

Still, the crowds were smaller and more controlled than on Monday, when about a dozen businesses were torched and others were looted amid rock-throwing and sporadic gunfire from protesters and volleys of tear gas fired by police. More than 60 people were arrested then, compared with 44 arrests on Tuesday night, police said.