Friday, November 21, 2014

Protesters arrested awaiting Ferguson grand jury decision

About a dozen protesters gathered again outside the police station in Ferguson in frigid conditions, sometimes blocking vehicles as they waved placards and chanted "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "Killer cops have got to go!"

Police dressed in riot gear arrested at least two demonstrators for a second night running as tensions simmer ahead of a grand jury decision in the case of a white officer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in August.

Officers in helmets and shields were deployed after a commander told protesters not to block traffic. Brief scuffles broke out and at least one woman and a man were handcuffed and taken away.

The Aug. 9 killing of Michael Brown triggered weeks of sometimes violent protests demanding officer Darren Wilson be indicted. Businesses and schools in Ferguson are bracing for renewed unrest, especially if the grand jury decides not to bring charges against Wilson.

Activists across the United States said they would stage their own rallies at federal courthouses nationwide regardless of the grand jury's decision. They say they will call for federal charges to be brought against Wilson if he does not face state charges.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and called in 400 National Guard troops to back up police. Critics have called that a heavy-handed response, saying the majority of demonstrations have been peaceful.

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