Demonstrators filled the streets of Ferguson, Missouri overnight, protesting the announcement that white police officer Darren Wilson will not be charged with any crime for shooting and killing unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August.
On Monday night, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced the 12 members of the grand jury – nine white, three black – opted not to indict Wilson on any of the five charges presented to them (ranging from first-degree murder to involuntary manslaughter), the New York Times reports.
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Shortly after the announcement, demonstrators began sweeping through the area. Similar protests began in other major cities across the United States, and in Minnesota, at least four solidarity marches are planned for Tuesday in response to the grand jury's decision. (See details below.)
In Ferguson, some demonstrators were peaceful. But gunshots were fired, and buildings were looted or set on fire throughout the night. Police used tear gas in an attempt to break up the crowds, but reportedly did not fire a bullet themselves.
At least 61 people were arrested, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar told reporters, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Nobody was seriously injured, he said, but along a stretch of road at the center of the worst looting – with broken glass on the pavement and flames flickering inside gutted local businesses – Belmar said there was basically "nothing left."
"What we saw tonight was much worse than what we saw any night in August," the St. Louis County Police Department wrote on Facebook, providing a handful of images to go with it.
Reaction in Minnesota
At least four separate solidarity marches are planned in Minnesota for Tuesday in response to the grand jury's decision.
Shortly after the grand jury announcement Monday, the Minneapolis Police Department issued a release asking for safety during any planned protests,
"The Minneapolis Police Department plans on assisting with demonstrations or marches. Our support may come in the form of rerouting traffic or providing logistical support (if requested) to keep demonstrators and the general public safe.We ask for everyone’s help in maintaining a safe and secure city while respecting private property."
Harteau says any group that would like assistance is "encouraged" to ask via email at email@example.com.
Large protests took place in a handful of major cities last night. Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and Oakland all witnessed demonstrations well into the night.
More images from Ferguson
On social media, demonstrators and journalists posted observations, images and video from throughout the night. In addition, the St. Louis Post Dispatch had a live blog going all night. Click here to see the detailed accounts directly from the scenes.
Here's a small collection of tweets and video:
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