Gallery: Ferguson burning
Violence flared again in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson on Monday (Tuesday Singapore time), with gunshots heard and tear gas fired, after a Missouri grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in August.
Angry crowds took to the streets around the Ferguson police department after the grand jury determined there was no probable cause to charge officer Darren Wilson with any crime for the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
St Louis police reported heavy automatic gunfire late on Monday in the area near where Brown was shot and killed on Aug. 9.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued temporary flight restrictions for the city.
Storefront windows were smashed near the Ferguson Police Department, and at least one police cruiser and another vehicle on the street were set on fire.
Gunshots were heard and police responded with volleys of tear gas and flash-bang canisters.
Ahead of the news, a crowd of several hundred people had gathered outside the Ferguson Police Department, and many began to scream angrily as word of the grand jury’s decision spread.
“Murderers, you’re nothing but murderers,” one woman shouted through a megaphone at officers clad in riot gear.
A group of protesters briefly mobbed a police car, throwing rocks and knocking out its windows, prompting a group of officers clad in riot gear to advance. Sounds of gunshots briefly caused police to take cover behind their vehicles. A Walgreens drugstore was set alight.
“They need to understand that when you put your son in the ground, that’s a pain that you can never overcome,” said Paulette Wilkes, a 40-year-old teacher’s assistant.
“People are trying to process it. I think once they process it they will continue to burn and loot because they’re angry.”
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called up the National Guard ahead of the announcement to protect against the kind of rioting that flared in the weeks
The grand jury, with nine white and three black members, began meeting in late August and heard evidence that included witnesses called by the prosecution as well as a private pathologist hired by the Brown family to review the shooting.
Nine jurors needed to agree to bring charges.
McCulloch declined to say if the jury’s decision was unanimous, noting that grand jury proceedings are completely secret and that only the jury members themselves know the details of the proceedings.
A federal probe into the shooting is continuing, and US Attorney General Eric Holder emphasised in a statement that the Justice Department investigators had not yet reached any conclusions.
“Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now.
"Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence,” he said.
Source: Reuters, Twitter