Ferguson decision nets U.S. rallies
People protesting the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision took to the streets in cities across the U.S. for a second day Tuesday, showing that the racially charged case has inflamed tensions thousands of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb.
Peaceful demonstrators marched in Seattle and disrupted traffic in St. Louis and Cleveland. Rallies also formed in Michigan, Maine, Georgia and mid-Atlantic states.
For many, the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson recalled other troubling encounters with law enforcement. The refrain “hands up, don’t shoot” became a rallying cry over police killings nationwide.
A look at some of Tuesday’s demonstrations:
Protesters disrupted downtown traffic for several hours by blocking major intersections, an interstate highway and a Mississippi River bridge connecting the city to Illinois.
Riot police arrested several demonstrators who sat in the middle of Interstate 44 near the Edward Jones Dome. They used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.
Demonstrators also swarmed the steps of the federal courthouse, overturning barricades while chanting, “You didn’t indict! We shall fight!”
Hundreds of Seattle high school students walked out of classes and rallied at the University of Washington or marched to the downtown federal courthouse.
The protest came a day after demonstrators threw canned food, bottles and rocks, and police responded with pepper spray and flash-bang grenades. Five people were arrested.
A rally in Minneapolis turned scary when a car hit and then drove through several protesters.
Several hundred people gathered Tuesday afternoon near the 3rd Precinct police outpost to show solidarity with Brown. The car pushed through protesters and drove over at least one. A woman suffered minor injuries.
Cleanup continued after scores of people hurled bottles, broke windows, set small fires and vandalized a police car Monday night with more expected Tuesday.
Forty-three people were arrested in the melee that escalated after some protesters shut down traffic on a major highway, police Chief Sean Whent said.
He said three officers were injured, including one who suffered a cut to the head after being hit by a brick.
“We will not tolerate assaults on our staff or vandalism and destruction,” he said.
Several hundred people marched down a freeway ramp to block rush-hour traffic while protesting the Missouri developments and Saturday’s fatal shooting by an officer of 12-year-old Tamir Rice of Cleveland, who had a pellet gun that looked like a real firearm.
“The system wasn’t made to protect us,” said one of the protesters, 17-year-old Naesha Pierce. “To get justice, the people themselves have to be justice.”
In New York, police noted protests have been large but mostly peaceful, with just two arrests, including that of a man who threw a jar of fake blood that struck Police Commissioner William Bratton.
Several hundred protesters also marched peacefully through nearby Newark, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
Several hundred people from historically black schools Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University in Georgia also held peaceful demonstrations.
In Chicago, dozens of protesters upset with the grand jury’s decision camped out at the doors of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and planned to remain through the night.
Two men were arrested at a protest in Miami for failure to obey police orders.
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