Late Monday, Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson did not get indicted by a grand jury in the case of the death of black unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict officer Darren Wilson, 28, for firing six shots in an August confrontation that killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Monday night. The result of no indictment lead to fires and mass rioting throughout the streets and even across the country.
Large crowds surrounded the Ferguson police station following the announcement. Police cars and stores were set on fire and others were looted. Some protesters fired shots and hurled bricks into buildings. Local authorities say they came under automatic gunfire and an officer was shot. Protests erupted in cities from Los Angeles to New York. Airlines diverted nearly a dozen airline flights out of concerns of the rioting. Late into the night, 61 people were arrested on charges of burglary and trespassing. Heavily armed police fired pepper spray and smoke canisters to disperse the crowds of protesters. Police seized a .45-mm. automatic handgun as well.
The grand jury met weekly since August 20 to consider evidence in the shooting of Michael Brown; they met for 70 hours and heard from countless witnesses. Brown’s family immediately issued a statement following McCulloch’s announcement.
We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the family said. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”
President Obama appeared on television calling for peaceful protests.
I join Michael’s parents to ask anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully,” Obama said. “Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words: ‘Hurting others and destroying property is not the answer. I do not want my son’s death to be in vain.'”
The focus of this case has been on the local authorities’ response, which include military style gear, armored vehicles and assault vehicles. The death of Brown touched off weeks of protests, and the decision by the grand jury on whether to bring charges prompted extraordinary precautions by law enforcement and the community. The Ferguson school district canceled Tuesday classes.