Sunday 8 December 2019

LIVE: Ferguson erupts in violence after police officer escapes prosecution for fatal shooting

Rob Crilly and Raf Sanchez

Ferguson erupted in anger on Monday night after a grand jury decided a white police office should not face criminal charges for shooting dead an unarmed, black teenager.

St Louis County Police confirmed that a total of 29 people have been arrested so far this morning around Ferguson, CNN reports.

A protester stands in the street after being treated for tear gas exposure after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014.
A protester stands in the street after being treated for tear gas exposure after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014.
A protester is pushed by a police officer off the ramp of Highway 580 during a demonstration, following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, California November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A man holds a sign reading "From Boston to Ferguson, cops are racist murderers" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A masked protester holds a flare during a demonstration, following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, California November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A man holds a sign reading "Black Lives Matter" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Demonstrators reacting to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown hold hands during four-and-a-half minutes of silence in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A protester holds a US flag at a demo in Oakland, California, over the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown (AP)
A man runs away from the burning storage facility after the announcement of the grand jury decision over the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri (AP)
Protesters shove a police car after the announcement of the grand jury decision (AP)

Police used tear gas to disperse protestors in front of their headquarters where a patrol car was set on fire and officers were pelted with missiles.

Minutes earlier, Robert McCulloch, the prosecutor for St Louis County, said the 12 members of the jury were the only people who had heard all the evidence in the case against Darren Wilson.

"They determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer Wilson," he said.

He added that the jury had decided Mr Wilson opened fire as a legitimate act of self-defence during a tussle that broke out as he was responding to a robbery.

A police car burns on the street after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri November 24, 2014. Gunshots were heard and bottles were thrown as anger rippled through a crowd outside the Ferguson Police Department in suburban St. Louis after authorities on Monday announced that a grand jury voted not to indict a white officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen. REUTERS/Jim Young
A police car burns on the street after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri November 24, 2014. Gunshots were heard and bottles were thrown as anger rippled through a crowd outside the Ferguson Police Department in suburban St. Louis after authorities on Monday announced that a grand jury voted not to indict a white officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen. REUTERS/Jim Young
Police officers stand next to a vandalized police car outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown November 24, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said. REUTERS/Jim Young
A protester demonstrates in Times Square after the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was announced, in New York November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Demonstrators push down New York Police Department (NYPD) barricades during a protest against the verdict announced in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, at Union Square in New York November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Protesters vandalize a police car outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri, after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young
Protesters shout slogans against the law as they march on the street during a rally in New York, November 24, 2014, after the grand jury decided not to charge a Ferguson police officer in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
Missouri State Troopers in riot gear stand in formation outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri, November 24, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said. REUTERS/Adrees Latif
Protesters chant "Hands up, don't shoot" during a demonstration on Times Square following the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, in New York November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Protesters chant "Hands up don't shoot" during a demonstration on Times Square following the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was announced, in New York November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office photo shows Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson photo taken shortly after August 9, 2014 shooting of Michael Brown, presented to the grand jury and made available on November 24, 2014. REUTERS/St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office/Handout via Reuters
Police detain a protester during a demonstration on Times Square following the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, in New York November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A protester sits in a police van after being detained in Times Square following the announcement of the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, in New York November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
A woman leads the chant "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A man holds a sign reading "Black Lives Matter" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A man holds a sign reading "From Boston to Ferguson, cops are racist murderers" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Demonstrators reacting to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown hold hands during four-and-a-half minutes of silence in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
A masked protester holds a flare during a demonstration, following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, California November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam
A protester is pushed by a police officer off the ramp of Highway 580 during a demonstration, following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, California November 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam

The family of Michael Brown, whose death in August sparked days of rioting and exposed America racial fautlines, expressed their profound disappointment and President Barack Obama appealed for calm.

However, their calls went unheeded. As news spread of the decision, the crowd turned in anger towards a thin line of police officers standing in front of the building.

A man holds a sign reading
A man holds a sign reading "Black Lives Matter" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Thousands rally across US cities in protest at Ferguson ruling 

Police in full riot gear emerged as the crowd surged forward and threw projectiles.

A man holds a sign reading
A man holds a sign reading "From Boston to Ferguson, cops are racist murderers" as demonstrators react to the grand jury decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, in front of the State House in Boston, Massachusetts November 25, 2014. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Witnesses described hearing gunshots prompting officers to fire a barrage of tear gas, sending demonstrators fleeing.

Looters smashed their way into shops close to the spot where Mr Brown was shot dead.

The majority of protesters remained peaceful and tried to pursuade the rest not to enflame tensions further.

Earlier in a statement, the Brown family said they were "profoundly disappointed" that their son's killer would not be prosecuted.

"We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful," the family added, calling for legal reform. "Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction."

And in a late-night statement from the White House, Mr Obama urged Americans not to deny recent progress in race relations in America. He called for the public to accept the grand jury's decision and to refocus on ways to make more progress in bringing police and their communities together.

"That won't be done by throwing bottles. That won't be done by smashing car windows. That won't be done by using this as an excuse to vandalize property," he said. "It certainly won't be done by hurting anybody."

Telegraph.co.uk

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