Ferguson on Fire: Violent Protests Erupt in Streets Following Grand Jury Decision Not to Indict

FergusononFireFERGUSON, Mo. — Following the announcement that a grand jury had chosen not to indict a Missouri police officer who fatally shot a teenager this past August, violence erupted on the streets of Ferguson, with angry rioters setting fires, looting and destroying area businesses.

Rioters gathered around a police car and sought to overturn the vehicle, and later succeeded in setting it on fire, destroying it completely. Another police vehicle was also stated to be lit just a block away. Businesses such as Little Caesar’s and an unidentified beauty salon were likewise soon engulfed in flames after being set on fire by the crowds.

“Storage facility and Sam’s Meat Market near W. Florissant and Canfield have been set on fire in Ferguson,” the St. Louis County Police Department Tweeted late tonight.

Other stores and restaurants, such as McDonalds and Walgreens, saw their windows smashed, and looters ran inside to take what goods they could run off with without being stopped. One liquor store was also broken into, as some grabbed bottles of alcohol and took off down the street. Some posted photographs on Twitter of the rioting, including those who posed for the camera while ransacking area businesses.

On the streets, some protesters taunted police officers, throwing bottles and rocks at them while shouting profanities. Many officers dressed in riot gear, wearing bullet proof vests and holding plastic shields, and some used tear gas and pepper spray in an attempt to control the crowds or force them to disperse. Police reports state that law enforcement used smoke pellets first to deal with the rioters, but turned to tear gas after it did not seem to be effective.

Police threatened some with arrest if they did not get out of the street. An estimated 600 demonstrators filled Ferguson, and Interstate 44 was shut down due to the violence.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon called in the National Guard over the matter, and the FAA listed a no-fly zone over the area.

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The violence followed an announcement at approximately 8 p.m. local time by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch that a grand jury had decided not to indict Ferguson Police Office Darren Wilson on any of the five charges that had been presented against him, from first degree murder to involuntary manslaughter. Wilson had fatally shot teenager Michael Brown in August following a confrontation moments after Brown stole cigarillos from a convenient store.

“These grand jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process,” he said, delivering a detailed 20-minute statement surrounding the various testimonies and pieces of evidence that the jury had to consider surrounding the matter.

“I’m ever mindful that this decision will not be accepted by some and may cause disappointment for others,” McCulloch stated. “But all decisions in the criminal justice system must be determined by the physical and scientific evidence and the credible testimony corroberated by that evidence.”

But while many of Monday’s protesters saw the outcome of the case as racial injustice, others disagree, and opine that it was rather the violent reaction following the decision that was disappointing—but expected.

“I’m not surprised at this at all. These are folks who lack character,” Jesse Lee Peterson, an African American and president of the Christian organization BOND (The Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny) told Christian News Network. “They don’t care about other people. They don’t care about other people’s property. They’re very angry and morally bankrupt.”

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  • Michelle Bowen

    Hey I stupidly broke laws not onl am I a moron who believes in being racist about the whole stiuation I’m DUMB ENOUGH TO RECORD ME DOING IT!?!?! Seriously?! I knew American’s like these racist morons who think a cop who didn’t do anything wrong should be indited! If the cop had bene black too you would have called it a tragedy nothing more! MORONS!

  • westco

    Do like Israel does. Destroy the terrorists houses.

    • Bruce Morrow

      Cut off all their welfare benefits for starts….

  • beverly

    Not suprised this only show what type of people these are. They have no respect for others or other people’s property. They do not know how to behave like civilized human beings. This may have been a disappointment but there is a responsible and civil way to protest without destroying or harming people who had nothing to do with this situation. Grow up and act civil. Terrorist for sure. Treat them, as such

    • Bruce Morrow

      These thugs act just like the uncivilized “Palestinians” that afflict the nation of Israel.

    • chrissy

      It’s true. I am not a racist, but sometimes I think black people are their own worst enemy. Especially when it comes to gang violence and killing each other.

  • Neiman

    It has always been incredible how when blacks are angry, often with good cause, they hurt and destroy the property of their own people, they burn down their own homes, so to speak. It is like being enraged, spitting into the wind in anger and all your spittle comes back in your face. It is to beat yourself in frustration because you are angry at someone else and cannot beat them.

    It is the majority of peace loving, hard working people of color that were not involved in the actual incident or the riots that follow that get hurt. It is unfortunate and born out of ignorance that these people, many of them just thugs, can only react by hurting themselves.

  • Phipps Mike

    ““They don’t care about other people. They don’t care about other people’s property.”
    so true. Too bad. Its not right to try and make two wrongs be a right. Crime is crime regardless if its in protest. ALL of the looters and those who broke the law DESERVE jail.

  • Bruce Morrow

    These “protesters” act like savages plain and simple. Man’s sinful heart on display for ALL to see!

  • Thomas Collins Jr June

    Problem is, now young whites are following the others into the looting and arson.