Violent protests have erupted in Ferguson after demonstrators learned that police officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted for the August shooting death of teenager Michael Brown.
Demonstrators taunted police and set two fires to St. Louis County police cars. There were reports of scattered gunfire reported. Police armed with riot gear dispersed a large crowd of hundreds of demonstrators using tear gas, bean bags and pepper spray. Looters also plundered an Autozone and Walgreen’s, and a Little Caesar’s restaurant and beauty shop were set on fire, USA Today reported.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Malik Rhasaan” author_title=”Ferguson resident”]
They have insurance. They can rebuild. The life of Mike Brown can’t be rebuilt. Our patience cannot be rebuilt.
In other cities, the reaction was more peaceful with police braced. The violence has been concentrated in Ferguson, with many protesters gathered in front of the Ferguson Police Department chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police.”
Civil rights activists across the nation are expressing frustration and anger, however. Thousands of protesters went to the streets across the United States, from Los Angeles to New York, to protest the grand jury’s decision.
In New York City, hundreds of protesters moved through Times Square, stopping traffic as police officers attempted to keep up on foot, the New York Times reported. In Los Angeles, protesters chanted, “From Ferguson to L.A., these killer cops have got to pay,” as police officers watched nearby.
State prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced on Monday night that officer Wilson will not be indicted, saying that the jury’s job was to separate fact from fiction. He said that some witness statements were contradicted by the evidence. Brown’s family expressed “profound disappointment” in the grand jury hearing, but family members have encouraged peace regardless of the outcome, the BBC reported.
As McCulloch’s announcement was made, Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, and stepfather, Louis Head, stepped onto a platform where protest leaders were gathered. McSpadden shouted, “Defend himself from what!” as McCulloch said that Wilson was defending himself when he shot Brown. She then lowered her head and cried.
McSpadden yelled, “They still don’t care! They never going to care!” Head turned to the crowd and yelled “Burn this down!” The crowd roared to life, with many rushing toward the fence where police were lined up. The family members were ushered away by representatives while officers in riot gear came out.
Protests have been concentrated around the Ferguson Police Department and the site of Michael Brown’s death. There have been no official reports of injuries or arrests.