Protesters angered by the fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by police faced off with officers in south St. Louis amid accusations of racial profiling in an area one lawyer has labelled a racial powder keg.

State and city leaders have urged the Justice Department to investigate the death of Vonderrit D. Myers in the Shaw neighborhood Wednesday night.

In a second night of unrest Thursday, hundreds of people protesting the shooting took to the streets in Shaw.

Police in riot gear lined up on a high street, flanked by brand name stores and restaurants. Protesters yelled abuse at the officers, who silently stood their ground.

Some protesters burned the American flag, others shouted "This is what democracy looks like."