Violence Rules Night on Ferguson Streets

Violence was the rule in Ferguson after the Grand Jury ruling
Violence was the rule in Ferguson after the Grand Jury ruling

Violence spills into Ferguson streets after no indictment in Brown death

FERGUSON – Tensions erupted into violence in Ferguson overnight. There were riots breaking out, and up to a dozen buildings were set ablaze in the Missouri community after a Grand Jury voted to not indict a police officer in a case where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed last August.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar reported that a dozen buildings were torched. The Chief of Police also said that there were cases of looting, vandalism, arson, and over 150 gunshots that he heard. There were also twenty-nine arrests made by police.

Violence was the rule in Ferguson after the Grand Jury ruling
Violence was the rule in Ferguson after the Grand Jury ruling

Gunshots were heard and bottles were thrown as anger rippled through a crowd outside the Ferguson Police Department in suburban St. Louis after authorities on Monday (November 24) announced that a Grand Jury voted not to indict a white officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen.

Whistles pierced the air as some of the hundreds of protesters tried to keep the peace, shouting, “Don’t run, don’t run.”

Not far from the stretch of Ferguson that saw the worst of the rioting after Brown’s fatal shooting in August, dozens of police and military vehicles were poised for possible mass arrests.

Brown’s family immediately urged a non-violent response to the grand jury’s decision. Officials urged tolerance and assured residents that the National Guard would provide security at critical facilities like fire houses, police stations and utility substations.

Calls for restraint by President Obama went unheard.

First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction. But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words: “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.” Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes.

I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur. Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence — distinguish them from the vast majority who just want their voices heard around legitimate issues in terms of how communities and law enforcement interact.

Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation. The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country. And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates. The good news is we know there are things we can do to help. And I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement.

There were also protests in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, Oakland, California, and Washington, D.C. overnight.

VIDEO by Reuters

Previous articleFood Trends for 2015 – Find out Early
Next articleMaple Leaf Foods and Hayley Wickenheiser Sign Two Year Deal or NNL offers news, information, opinions and positive ideas for Thunder Bay, Ontario, Northwestern Ontario and the world. NNL covers a large region of Ontario, but are also widely read around the country and the world. To reach us by email: Reach the Newsroom: (807) 355-1862