Monday, November 24, 2014

Riots Break Out After Grand Jury Decision In Ferguson Shooting

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Violent protests and riots have erupted in Ferguson after a St. Louis County grand jury has come to the decision not to bring any criminal charges against Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed unarmed African American teenager, Michael Brown, earlier in the summer.

Also, other cities around the country, including New York, Oakland California, and Seattle have record smaller level protests. Many protesters are raising their hands in surrender like some say Michael Brown did before he was killed. Others lay down in the road because they say Brown was left dead laying on the road for over 4 hours.

Witnesses said that Brown had his hands raised and was trying to surrender when Wilson approached with his gun and fired repeatedly. However, reports claim Wilson told grand jurors Brown was coming at him aggressively.

The grand jury was made up of nine whites and three blacks, and mostly men. Their decision was announced by the St. Louis County prosecutor, Robert P. McCulloch who says they have to trust the judgment of the grand jury. He said;

"the grand jurors were "the only people who heard every witness ... and every piece of evidence." 

He said many witness presented conflicting statements that ultimately were inconsistent with the physical evidence.These grand jurors poured their hearts and soul into this process."

When the decision was announced, Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, burst into tears and began screaming before being whisked away by supporters. 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. 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 addressed the nation less than an hour after the decision was announced, pleading with protesters to remain peaceful.

"I join Michael's parents to ask anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully." Let me repeat Michael's father's words: 'Hurting others and destroying property is not answer. I do not want my son's death to be in vain.'"

But soon after McCulloch's statement, a crowd gathered in Ferguson erupted in anger, throwing things at police and knocking down a barricade after McCulloch's announcement. Several gunshots were heard on the streets. Several buildings and police vehicles have been set on fire.

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