ST. LOUIS (AP) — Protests are scheduled at shopping centers around the country in response to a grand jury’s decision not to indict the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. A few popped up in St. Louis-area retail stores late Thursday and continued Friday, the start of what is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.
In Chicago, about 200 people demonstrated at the water tower near the Michigan Avenue shopping district. During an early Friday protest in Manchester, Missouri, about two dozen people chanted “no justice, no peace, no racist police” and “no more Black Friday” after police moved them out of a Wal-Mart. There were other gatherings at retail stores in the area, too, though none in Ferguson.
The protest activity in Ferguson was calm Thursday, just three nights after the grand jury’s announcement led to widespread commercial looting and vandalism. Community members decorated boarded-up windows, and some went to a church service where prayers were said for the family members of Brown and Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson officer who shot the unarmed Brown during a struggle Aug. 9.
There have been numerous protests in major cities across the country since the grand jury’s decision. During the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, about 50 people walked down the sidewalk carrying signs and chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot” — a reference to Brown’s death. Seven were arrested.
THE BEGINNING: Wilson shot and killed Brown shortly after noon in the middle of the street after a scuffle. Brown’s body lay there for hours as police investigated and a crowd of angry onlookers gathered. Several days of tense protests in the predominantly black community followed, prompting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to call in the National Guard. McCulloch decided to present the case to a grand jury.
THE ANNOUNCEMENT: Made up of nine white people and three black people, the grand jury met 25 days over three months, and heard more than 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses. McCulloch held a news conference Monday night to reveal the decision.
THE FINAL SAY? The U.S. Justice Department has its own investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges for Wilson, but investigators would need to satisfy a rigorous standard of proof. The department also has launched a broad probe into the Ferguson Police Department.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.