The police chief's resignation in the US city of Ferguson sparked a demonstration that has culminated in the shooting of two policemen outside their headquarters as rival protestors dispersed. The officers were wounded.
Ferguson's police chief quit earlier on Wednesday after a scathing US Justice Department report released last week found widespread racially biased abuses in the police department and the city's municipal court.
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said one county police officer was shot in the shoulder and the second in the face. It was not clear where the shots came from, he said.
Blurry television footage showed protestors running away in panic and police crouching down with weapons drawn.
Witness Markus Roehrer told CNN that 40 protestors had been present, and said blaming them for the gunshots would be "totally unfair."
Police spokesman Belmar said officers were shot "just because they were police officers."
Fatal shooting of black teenager
Tensions between local residents and Ferguson authorities have remained high since last year's fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager.
The unarmed 18-year-old was shot dead by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9, 2014. Wilson was not subsequently brought to trial over that death. He resigned his post.
The killing triggered protests across the United States and renewed scrutiny of police use of deadly force.
ipj/sms (Reuters, AFP, dpa)