Violence Erupts in Ferguson, Protests Spread Across Nation

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Police car on fire in Ferguson, MO following the Grand Jury decision. Photo Credit: KTVI

Police car on fire in Ferguson, MO following the Grand Jury decision.
Photo Credit: KTVI

(CNN) — Screams of outrage. Crowds marching down streets, blocking intersections. Fists raised in silence.

As the Ferguson grand jury’s decision was announced Monday night, protesters around the country — who had begun to gather hours earlier — responded in solidarity.

In New York, a roving crowd wound its way through the city, surging to more than 1,000 in Times Square before heading toward the Upper West Side, CNN’s Miguel Marquez tweeted.

Earlier in the evening, about 200 people flocked to Union Square, brandishing signs that read, “Jail killer cops,” and a large display, in lights: “Black lives matter.”

Protesters knocked down barricades and headed toward the West Village before turning north, accompanied by police.

Emotions boiled over in Philadelphia, too.

“Shouts of “f— the police” at word of no indictment,” a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter tweeted. “A man with the mic: ‘we don’t need to get mad.’ Others: ‘yes we do!'”

In Oakland, California, shop owners posted signs in their windows, “We support Michael Brown,” as marchers took to the streets.

A crowd filled the intersection at 14th and Broadway, and some demonstrators laid their bodies down in chalk outlines, reports on social media showed.

Similar scenes of a “die-in” were staged in downtown Seattle.

“Same story every time, being black is not a crime,” protesters shouted, according to a report from CNN affiliate KIRO.

In Washington, D.C., a large crowd assembled outside the White House, with some protesters lying down on Pennsylvania Avenue. In Los Angeles, a city still scarred by the riots of 1992, the police department was put on “tactical alert.”

A group also assembled in front of the Colorado Capitol in Denver calling for nonviolence, according to CNN affliate KMGH.

The Chicago Tribune reported that some 200 protesters gathered outside the city’s police headquarters, chanting “We are Mike Brown!” and “I am Mike Brown!” They also carried signs, the paper reported, bearing phrases like “Won’t stop ’til we get justice,” “Killer pigs must pay,” and “Stop the racist killer cops.”

Later they marched through downtown before stopping at the State of Illinois Center, where they chanted into bullhorns. Chicago police scrambled to keep up.

Protests around the country appeared to be largely peaceful, compared to the scenes unfolding in Ferguson. There, demonstrators set police vehicles ablaze and officers fired canisters into the crowds.

In Atlanta, birthplace of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the streets appeared largely quiet. But at Morehouse College, where about 200 students gathered to hear the grand jury’s decision, a collective gasp rippled through the crowd.

Some of the students at the historically black men’s school looked at one another in disbelief, others started to tear up, and a few stared ahead as their jaws dropped.

Police sirens wailed in the distance as the students chanted: “Ferguson’s hell is America’s hell.”

Kevin Harvey, a senior dressed in a blue blazer, button-down shirt and penny loafers, walked away from the demonstration with his head down. He said he was angry and bewildered by a storyline that’s become all too familiar.

“I’m afraid to raise my son in this country,” he said. “When I do have a family, I’m afraid to raise him in this country and that’s a terrible thought. Because I know that he is not valued.”

When asked his reaction to the verdict, Harvey tried to sort through his emotions.

“Confusion, anger, and generally just being upset,” he said. “I’m scared and frustrated.”

Long before the grand jury decision was shared, announcing that Officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted for the murder of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the nation held its collective breath.

As the sun set back East, people rose up — hours before the decision was announced after 9 p.m. EST.

More than 120 vigils and gatherings, both immediate and for Tuesday, were organized in cities large and small. From Toledo, Ohio, and Bangor, Maine, to Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Detroit, details have been shared on the Ferguson National Response Network.

18 comments

  • Michael Brown

    They should arm all the police officers with job applications and w-4 forms. As soon as all of these black animals see that, they’ll run as fast as they can.

  • Amber

    Once again…everyone always cries racism. It’s been how many years since slaves were freed? Come on. And the fact that they’re going to destroy everything just furthers the stereotype of African Americans. We have a black president. What else can you possibly want??? It’s unfair what happened to Michael Brown, and I believe the cop should be in jail for the rest of his life. But, stop crying out racism alllllllll the time.

  • The Authority

    Bad decision to release the verdict at night should’ve done it in the morning when these hoodlums would be in bed. And I see no reason how a verdict gives these scum the reason to loot and destroy public and private property

    • Jim

      well it really don’t make a difference anyway. They could have announced it at 10am and they still would have had the same result. Its not like they actually have a job to go to. And if they did its not hard to stand on the corner and conduct their bidness!!!

  • Joe Schmoe

    Being black isn’t a crime, BUT ROBBING a store and then resisting being questioned is!!! He lived a gansta life and well he got what he had coming to him. Lets support the police if not these savages would be burning my house down. PS real question is why didn’t Mr Brown have a job? hmmmm sound familiar……..

  • E

    The fact that you have to claim you are not intimitated when no accusations were made shows just how intimitated you truly are. Lol. I know acting aggressively is common when people know they are vulnerable, but try to control your fear and not make it so obvious. Local. :)

    • Michael Brown

      Oh well, too bad for him bleh, no one cares about Michael Brown. He was no different then a monkey that got out of control at the zoo.

  • Solomon Grundy

    They are all misbehaved savages….What do you expect.. Their jungle tendencies are showing now….They are a disgrace to their own race….If they dont like the decision….Swim back to Africa…..We dont care….Im glad the grand jury decided in favor of the police officer…The officer acted in self defense….

  • Whatever831

    I am so sick of this ‘racist’ crap being shoved down my throat. I really do not understand this. Shop owners have signs that read “We support Michael Brown.” I wonder if they would be so supportive if they got robbed and then shoved by him! This is just unreal. If a black cop shot at the black teen this wouldn’t be an issue, but I don’t understand why color has anything to do with it, and I know more than a million others that agree. And now all the destruction… For what? Attention? It’s all negative attention and DOES NOT help the whole “race” issue, but I guess THEY (meaning those that are being destructive – no matter the color) didn’t get the memo. Not very intelligent if you ask me.

    • dutchess

      Sick of it too! It’s a sad world we live in when we have to condescend to thugs. Where were their protests when they were blowing each other away in the crack wars? There were occasions when protests were validated, however, what purpose does rioting serve save to prove the fact that your culture/race is out of control? How does this differentiate them from terrorists? There are right ways to go about changing things and madness and mayhem is not one of them!

  • cast0ff

    where are the riots when black on black murder happens on a daily basis????????? dont get me wrong,… the way the grand jury was handled sounds fishy as hell to me.. completely unusual handling of the evidence/introduction, BUT, again, why no riots over black on black murder? black lives only count if a cop takes them?

  • Franko

    I know this might sound racists, but that isn’t my intent — But people always talk about stereotypes and how it’s bad to brand certain ethnic groups or races or people of different color or religious beliefs, or how people of any of these groups are on talk shows and documentaries or in the media saying how it’s so bad that they are stereotypes because it’s not true and it is “white America” that labels them without their being truth to the labels.
    Then you see this stuff on CNN — people of a certain group, who always say that the stereotype is wrong and incorrect, doing what we see people like this doing so many times over the last 30 years – they start destroying things and burning things over a court decision that is delivered when it involves someone of their race that has or had a criminal background or performed a criminal action and it resulted in that person’s death — But everyone else is supposed to be supportive of their violence and again, afterwards we get told how they are wrongly branded as people who do these types of destructive protest.
    I don’t get it, maybe I’m wrong but does any other ethnic group or race hold violent and destructive protests in this country when a suspect in a crime is killed somehow by police ? Yet again, we get told it is bad to stereotype because stereotypes aren’t always true. I’m not saying that they are or they aren’t but when you see video of things like this in the news, what other type of conclusion can you draw from it ?

    • dutchess

      I grew up in a diverse environment, and when something went down, they were the only group to behave like this. Imagine we went up in arms every time a white kid died at the hands of a black person? And to protest nationwide no less? We read the news, what happens every time they commit a crime that ends up in murder? No protests? How about when they rape, maim, and kill their own? This must be acceptable to them as long as they do it to each other. How many people overdose on the poison they peddle? Losers!

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