Kicking off their latest strategy inside a Walmart in another nearby suburb of St. Louis, about 75 demonstrators protested peacefully, chanting "Hands up, don't shoot!", bemusing bargain-hunters pushing their brimming shopping carts.
They dispersed peacefully when ordered by a small group of police, moving on to a Target store where they staged a similar demonstration. More protests were planned for Friday.
Ferguson became a flashpoint for often troubled U.S. race relations after officer Darren Wilson shot dead Michael Brown on Aug. 9. The U.S. Justice Department is probing possible civil rights abuses, and President Obama has called for reflection on the difficulties minorities face in the country.
But Wednesday and Thursday were far quieter, with no major incidents reported.
Before heading in convoy to Walmart late on Thursday, a group of some 100 demonstrators ate Thanksgiving dinner, sang, prayed and discussed their new strategy in the basement of a St. Louis church.
Ferguson, home to about 21,000 people, is a predominantly black city where almost all the political leaders and police are white.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who declared a state of emergency well ahead of the grand jury being announced, has deployed about 2,200 National Guard troops to the Ferguson area to quell violence.
Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave, has said he feared for his life and was acting in self-defense when he shot Brown. Brown's family said he acted with malice and that he should stand trial.
Shooting of Michael Brown
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the shooting of Michael Brown. For the protests that followed, see 2014 Ferguson unrest.
|Time||12:01 p.m. – 12:03 p.m.|
|Date||Saturday, August 9, 2014|
|Location||Ferguson, Missouri, U.S.|
Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were walking down the middle of the street, shortly after stealing a box of cigarillos from a convenience store, when Wilson drove up and told them to move to the sidewalk. An altercation ensued with Brown and Wilson struggling through the window of the police vehicle until Wilson's gun was fired. Brown and Johnson then fled in different directions, with Wilson in pursuit of Brown eventually firing several more times. In the entire altercation Wilson fired a total of twelve shots, Brown being hit by six, with the last being the fatal shot. Witness reports differ as to whether and when Brown had his hands raised, and whether he was moving toward Wilson when the final shots were fired.
The shooting sparked protests and unrest in Ferguson, in part due to the belief among many that Brown was surrendering, as well as longstanding racial tensions between the majority-black Ferguson community and the majority-white city government and police. Protests, both peaceful and violent, along with vandalism and looting, continued for more than a week, resulting in night curfews. The response of area police agencies in dealing with the protests received significant criticism from the media and politicians. There were concerns over insensitivity, tactics and a militarized response. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered local police organizations to cede much of their authority to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Mainly peaceful protests continued for several weeks.
A few days after the shooting, the Ferguson Police Department released a video of a convenience store robbery that occurred only minutes before the shooting. It showed Brown taking cigarillos and shoving a store employee who tried to prevent him from leaving. The timing of the video release received criticism from some media, the Brown family, and some public officials, who viewed the release as an attempt to impeach Brown. Others said the video was informative as to Brown's state of mind, with the shooting incident coming so shortly after the robbery. There is conflicting evidence as to whether Officer Wilson knew of Brown's involvement in the robbery.
In September 2014, Eric Holder, U.S. Attorney General launched a federal investigation of the Missouri city’s police force to examine whether officers routinely engaged in racial profiling or showed a pattern of excessive force.
The events surrounding the shooting were investigated by a county grand jury. In a press conference on November 24, 2014, Robert P. McCulloch, the Prosecuting Attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri, announced that the jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson for his actions.. Legal analysts raised concerns suggesting that prosecutors pursued an unorthodox approach and process that influenced the grand jury to not indict Wilson.
The Department of Justice, is reviewing Ferguson Police Department's internal investigations of use of force during the last four years.
Michael Brown Jr.
|Michael Brown Jr.|
|Born||Michael Brown Jr.
May 20, 1996
|Died||August 9, 2014 (aged 18)
Ferguson, Missouri, U.S.
Cause of death
|Height||6 feet 4 inches (193 cm)|
|Weight||292 pounds (132 kg)|
|Born||Darren Dean Wilson
May 14, 1986
Fort Worth, Texas
|Employer||Ferguson Police Department|
|Height||6 feet 4 inches (193 cm)|
|Weight||210 pounds (95 kg)|
Wilson first worked as a police officer in the police department of Jennings, Missouri, later disbanded. Wilson had no disciplinary history with the department. After the Jennings Police Department was disbanded, Wilson became a police officer in Ferguson. He was described by a Jennings coworker as an "average officer" who "didn't get into any trouble". Former Jennings Police Chief Robert Orr said that he hardly remembered Wilson and said "that must mean he never got in any trouble, because that’s when they usually came to me".
ShootingAt 11:51 a.m. on August 9, 2014, a convenience store security camera captured video of Brown taking a $48 box of cigarillos and physically assaulting and intimidating a convenience store clerk. A police dispatcher reported a "stealing in progress" at 11:53, and at 11:57 dispatch said the suspect was wearing a red Cardinals hat, a white T-shirt, yellow socks, and khaki shorts, and was accompanied by another man. At noon, Wilson radioed to ask other officers searching for the suspects if they needed him and was told by dispatch that they had disappeared.
At 12:01 p.m., Wilson drove up to Brown and Johnson in the middle of Canfield Drive and ordered them to move off the street and onto the sidewalk. Wilson continued driving past the two men, but then backed up and stopped close to them, after realizing that Brown matched the description of the robbery suspect, according to Wilson. Dispatch recordings indicate that Wilson called for backup at 12:02, saying "[Unit] 21. Put me on Canfield with two. And send me another car."
A struggle took place between Brown and Wilson through the window of the police SUV, a Chevrolet Tahoe. Wilson's gun was fired twice during the struggle, with one bullet hitting Brown's arm while it was inside the vehicle. In his testimony to the grand jury, Wilson said that he "felt like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan" while he attempted to restrain Brown when he reached through his police car window.
Brown and Johnson fled and Johnson hid behind a car. Wilson got out of the vehicle and pursued Brown. Blood on the ground supports statements that Brown continued to move closer toward Wilson after being hit by a number of bullets. At some point, Wilson fired his gun again, with at least six shots striking Brown in the front, fatally wounding him. Brown was unarmed.
Less than 90 seconds passed from the time Wilson encountered Brown to the time of Brown's death.
...and I am Sid Harth