Riots erupt after US jury fails to indict Ferguson policeman

November 25, 2014 | By | Reply More

Nov 25, – The town of Ferguson erupted in violence as protesters shot at police and set cars and buildings ablaze overnight after a grand jury chose not to indict a white officer who killed an unarmed black teenager.

hromedia Riots erupt after US jury fails to indict Ferguson policeman intl. news2In the latest case to trigger debate on forceful police tactics against minorities and race relations in America, hopes and appeals — including from President Barack Obama — for a peaceful reaction to the decision late Monday evaporated quickly.

Many protesters took the ruling as a message that a black person’s life was worth less than that of a white person.

Groups of youths roamed the streets, looting stores and spreading mayhem, as flames lit up the night sky in this suburb of St Louis, Missouri.

At least 12 buildings and two police cars were set on fire and destroyed.

But no one was killed or seriously hurt and police did open fire at any point, said St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar.

Twenty-nine demonstrators were arrested.

The grand jury concluded that officer Darren Wilson, who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown 12 times, had acted in legitimate self defense after they got into an “altercation” as the officer investigated a robbery at a store, said St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch.

But a separate federal civil rights investigation into the Wilson incident and Ferguson policing in general will continue, US Attorney General Eric Holder said.

After the violence broke out in Ferguson, protests quickly spread to major US cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, but there were no reports of violence.

In Ferguson, a mainly black town with a mainly white police force, officers were stunned by a spasm of fury right after the hotly awaited verdict. It came after three months of deliberations by the grand jury following Brown’s death in August.

Belmar said he had hoped the reaction “might not be too bad.”

“But frankly, as soon as Mr. McCulloch announced the verdict, the officers started taking rocks and batteries,” he told a press conference a few hours after midnight.

“I personally heard about 150 shots fired,” he added. A highway patrol officer told him his men felt like “we were in a death funnel,” Belmar said.

As the unrest continued into the night, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called in additional National Guard forces to help restore order.

Brown’s death in August had sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests. But Monday’s episode was worse, Belmar said.

Press journalist for HRO media – Debi Campillos reports.

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Category: International

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