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Protesters gather in Ferguson; mood lighter as demonstrators mingle with police

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FERGUSON, Mo. - A huge crowd of people protesting the death of a black Missouri teenager shot by a white police officer have gathered in Ferguson, chanting and carrying signs.

The protests come as the Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking over supervising security in the St. Louis suburb amid criticisms of the police response.

Several people stopped to shake hands with police and troopers. Some have stopped to hug and chat with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Highway Patrol, who is overseeing security.

The scene stands in stark contrast clashes earlier this week when officers wore riot gear. Crowds have gathered since Saturday's shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The mood Thursday is almost jubilant. A steady line of cars driving by the scene is honking and waving at the protesters.

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