The Corner

Ferguson Protesters Respond to Grand Jury Decision with Gunshots, Destruction, Looting

A grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown that occurred earlier this summer in Ferguson, Mo., and agitators responded last by burning parts of the city to the ground. Protesters behaved aggressively before the decision came down, and quickly grew hostile when the verdict did not go in their favor. Protesters gathered in the street outside the Ferguson Police Department to listen to the announcement, but had little patience for the grand jury’s decision.

Police then moved to barricade the department and protesters began hurling bottles at the officers. Protesters began shouting in unison, “FTP! F*** the police!” 

The mob appeared to be successfully herded back in front of the police station, when reports of looting throughout Ferguson began to emerge and a car was lit on fire near the police department.

Gunshots echoed throughout the city all night long. At a late-night press conference, St. Louis County police chief Jon Belmar said he personally heard approximately 150 gun shots in Ferguson and said it would be difficult to control the rioting and looting that went on without 10,000 policemen on the ground. But there were several warning signs that what took place would indeed happen. Protesters took over the street outside the police station well in advance of the public announcement of the grand jury’s decision and many of the protesters had become increasingly agitated leading up to it.

A mob of angry protesters pursued one man and shouted that he was part of the Ku Klux Klan, but that man told National Review Online and other media that he was simply making a documentary and was not a member of the KKK.

Some protesters even tried to scare away members of the press and warned them that the protesters were carrying guns.

And while law enforcement may not have fully anticipated the protesters’ angry response, several local businesses did. Several businesses in Clayton, Mo., the site of the grand jury’s deliberations, began boarding up their storefronts as soon as word came down that the decision would be made public on Monday. Many other business destroyed last night will likely never recover from the devastation of the protesters’ deeds. One business left a note that proved woefully optimistic:



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