The National Guard have been sent to restore order in Ferguson, which was rocked by riots following the decision not to charge a policeman who killed a black teenager.
Dozens of buildings were torched by protestors after a grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Mike Brown in August.
The killing, on a residential street, led to weeks of civil unrest and a national debate fuelled by protesters’ outrage over what they called a pattern of police brutality against young black men.
Over 60 people have been arrested in and around Ferguson for burglary, illegal weapons possession and unlawful assembly since the jury verdict was announced. Two police cars were among those set ablaze amid angry claims the police used teargas to disperse protestors.
Protests and demonstrations took place throughout the country, including Times Square in New York City, and in Cleveland, Ohio, where a 12-year-old boy was shot by a police officer on Saturday when he was playing in a park with a toy gun.
US president Barack Obama has called for calm.
“First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law, and we need to accept that this was a decision that was the grand jury’s to make,” Mr Obama said. “Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk – that is destructive and there’s no excuse for it, there’s no excuse for it.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said he would bolster the National Guard deployment to ensure people and property are protected.
“Violence like we saw last night cannot be repeated,” Mr Nixon said on his Twitter feed. – Luke Mahoney
Top photo from Stephen Melkisethian’s Flickr photostream.