After Darren Wilson Was Cleared, This Is What It's Like In Ferguson Right Now — PHOTOS
After weeks of anticipation, the grand jury tasked with deciding whether to indict Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown announced it won't bring charges against the Ferguson police officer. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCullough made the announcement from a courthouse in Clayton, Missouri, while nearly one thousand protesters filled the streets in nearby Ferguson. They waited under a festive "Seasons Greeting" banner, some chanting, "no justice, no peace" while others held them arms up in the protest stance symbolizing, "hands up, don't shoot."
As crowds swelled in Ferguson shortly after the startling grand jury decision, police forces, clad in riot gear, moved in. Less than an hour before the announcement, the St. Louis County Police Department released a statement from Chief of Police Jon Belmar emphasizing the department's commitment to "safety for all citizens:"
As a police department, our primary responsibility is to protect both life and property for our citizens, and we are committed to doing just that. St. Louis Metropolitan Chief of Police Sam Dotson, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, and I, have prepared extensively as a Unified Command, for the release of the grand jury decision. Our commanders have been meeting with local community officials and protest leaders to help ensure preservation of life, property, and that all citizens’ enjoy the freedom to express their constitutional rights.
Earlier on Monday, representatives from the ACLU were in Ferguson, educating residents about their First Amendment rights to peacefully assemble and protest and, if it calls for it, photograph and record police officers.Here's what the scene is like in Ferguson following the grand jury's decision...