ferguson smolders after night of fires unrest following grand jury decision

The city of Ferguson, Missouri, is still on fire after a night of unrest caused by the decision of a grand jury not to charge officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

At least a dozen buildings were burned down and robbed, and many of them were local businesses that the police said were total losses. Dozens of cars, including two police cars and rows of cars at a car dealership, were also burned by vandals. Jon Belmar, the chief of police for St. Louis County, said he heard about 150 gunshots, but none of them were from police.

“What I’ve seen tonight is probably much worse than the worst night we had in August,” he said, referring to the protests after the shooting death of Brown, an unarmed black teenager who some witnesses say had his hands up when he was shot on Aug. 9.

Police said they arrested more than 80 people and that no one was seriously hurt.

Soon after the rambling nighttime statement by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, Wilson’s grand jury testimony was made public. In it, he said that Brown looked like a “demon” during the deadly confrontation.

“I mean, he was obviously bigger and stronger than me, and I’d already taken two blows to the face, so I didn’t think he would hit me a third time. But if he did, it could kill me or knock me out, and then who knows what would happen to me after that,” Wilson told the grand jury.

The prosecutor’s office also released photos of Wilson taken after the fight that show a bruise on his face and a mark on his neck that look like they were caused by the fight. The photos, which were used as proof in the trial, had never been shown to the public before.


Other grand jury evidence that came out late last night showed that witnesses were sure they saw Brown put his hands up before he was shot.

Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, cried out in pain while standing on top of a car as about 1,000 loud protesters gathered on Ferguson’s main street to hear the grand jury’s decision.

She said, “Everyone wants me to be calm.” “Do they know how those bullets hurt my son? What they did to his body when they went inside him?”

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