Ferguson: Then, now and the future

Ferguson: Then, now and the future

The weeks of anxious waiting and hours of deliberating ended Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, but the grand jury's decision not to indict a white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the fatal shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown will likely reverberate throughout the community and nation for days to come.

Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed, shortly after noon Aug. 9 in the middle of the street after a scuffle. Brown's body lay there for hours as police investigated and an angry crowd of 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.

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 prime-time news conference Monday to reveal the decision, and described inconsistent witness accounts. He never mentioned that Brown was unarmed when he was killed.

Thousands waited in the streets of Ferguson and in other major U.S. cities on Monday, and responded with shouts of anger. In Ferguson, some began throwing objects at police, and soon began to smash windows and set fire to businesses and cars. Authorities lobbed tear gas to disperse the crowd.

When daylight broke, about a dozen businesses had been severely damaged or destroyed along a stretch of West Florissant Avenue in the north St. Louis suburb. Sixty-one people were arrested in Ferguson and 21 were arrested in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, while 14 people had protest-related injuries.

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.

A protest is planned for Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the afternoon in downtown St. Louis, and St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson has scheduled a 5 p.m. Votive Mass for Peace and Justice.


Opening text from the AP news story, A Glance at Ferguson: Then, Now and the Future.


Lead Image Caption: Protesters sit in the middle of a street holding hands as Missouri state Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal at left, wears a button remembering Michael Brown, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Nights of unrest have vied with calls for calm in a St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown, unarmed black teenager was killed by police, while the community is still pressing for answers about the weekend shooting. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)


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