Ferguson protests move to retail stores
Ferguson, Mo. — Demonstrators temporarily shut down two large malls in suburban St. Louis on one of the busiest shopping days of the year Friday, as rallies were held nationwide to protest a grand jury’s recent decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.
Several stores lowered their security doors or locked entrances as at least 200 protesters sprawled onto the floor while chanting, “Stop shopping and join the movement” at the Galleria mall in Richmond Heights, about 10 miles south of Ferguson.
The protest prompted authorities to close the mall for about an hour Friday afternoon, while a similar protest of about 50 people had the same effect at West County Mall in nearby Des Peres. It didn’t appear that any arrests were made.
The protests were among the largest in the country on Black Friday, along with rallies in Chicago, New York, Seattle, northern California and elsewhere. Demonstrations continued in and around Ferguson, where officer Darren Wilson fatally shot the 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed, in August.
“We want to really let the world know that it is no longer business as usual,” Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor at Clemson University in South Carolina, said at a rally at a Wal-Mart in Manchester, another St. Louis suburb.
Monday night’s announcement that Wilson, who is white, wouldn’t be indicted for fatally shooting Brown, who was black, prompted violent protests that resulted in about a dozen buildings and some cars being burned. Dozens of people were arrested.