Missouri march seeks justice for black teen killed by police

Activists protesting police treatment of black Americans concluded a 120-mile (190-km) march from Ferguson, Missouri, to the Missouri governor's mansion on Friday, ending a "journey for justice" tied to the police killing of an unarmed black teenager.

More than 100 protesters shouted "hands up, don't shoot" and other slogans as they rallied in the rotunda of the state Capitol in Jefferson City.

The demonstrators walked through cold rain as they concluded a march that began Nov. 29 and was organised by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The civil rights group organised the march after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18 year old in Ferguson in August.

NAACP leaders met with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on Friday.

"While we did not agree on every point, I believe common ground exists to bring progress in areas such as body cameras for police officers, reform of municipal courts, and increasing minority participation in urban law enforcement agencies," Koster said in a statement.

In an atmosphere at times reminiscent of the civil rights marches of the 1960s, the protesters said they encountered counter-demonstrators and hecklers along the way.

"For many, the fight has never ended," said NAACP staff member Jamiah Adams, who participated in the march.

In the small town of Rosebud, Adams said a group that included Ku Klux Klan members met the marchers with racist signs, epithets as well as fried chicken and watermelon, foods typically associated with racist stereotypes of black people. Someone broke a window of a bus accompanying the marchers in an incident that remains unexplained, she said.

The NAACP is calling for a number of changes, including the ouster of the Ferguson police chief, the demilitarization of local police authorities and an end to racial profiling by police.

Brown's death, and a grand jury's decision in November not to indict Wilson, have prompted expanding protests over what activists say is deeply engrained hostile treatment of black Americans by police, and an unequal justice system that refuses to hold police accountable.

Protests spread to many major US cities this week after another grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer who put a 43-year-old black man suspected of illegally selling cigarettes in a chokehold in New York, which resulted in his death.