- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2014

Protests broke out from coast to coast Monday night after a grand jury announced that Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. More than 100 demonstrations have sprung up beyond Missouri, from New York to Seattle, The Associated Press is reporting.

In Ferguson itself, police vehicles were set afire and shops looted in the aftermath of the decision despite Brown’s parents appealing for calm and peace. Gov. Jay Nixon and President Obama also called for peaceful protesting of the decision, but police in riot gear were mobilized outside the Ferguson police station as the decision was announced.

Pockets of trouble began shortly after the news came down, with cars and buildings burned and shops looted. Protesters then moved onto I-44, shutting down the freeway. St. Louis on the Air said that the protesters looked like they were “planning on staying for a while.”

KSDK announced that the the FAA was diverting planes air away from the airspace directly over Ferguson for flights coming into St. Louis’ busy Lambert Airport.

As the violence continued well into the night, KSDK 5 reported that a University City police officer was shot in the arm near the epicenter of the main Ferguson rioting. The officer was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

In Seattle, more than 100 protesters marched through the downtown area, AP is reporting. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray showed solidarity with the protesters by saying the city “is committed to the goals of racial and social justice” but also allowed that Seattle is “far from perfect.”

CNN is reporting that a crowd of protesters gathered in New York’s Times Square ahead of the verdict, where they chanted slogans like “jail killer cops” and holding a banner that said “black lives matter.” The crowd broke down police baricades before moving out of Times Square and heading toward the West Village and then to the Upper West Side.

In Los Angeles, ABC7 is reporting that protesters walked onto the city’s busy I-10 freeway system, one of Southern California’s crucial arteries in its massive freeway systems, as it was still rife with evening traffic.

In Philadelphia, a crowd was riled up by a man with a microphone who shouted “f– the police,” according to the Philadelphia Inquirer, while another protester on a microphone pleaded for calm but was shouted down.

In Oakland, California, protesters took over a busy intersection, halting car traffic. Shop owners had posted signs in their windows saying “We support Michael Brown,” as marchers took to the streets ahead of the verdict.

The protest eventually shut down the 580 freeway entirely in both directions, according to CBS, as demonstrators walked onto all lanes of traffic and forced authorities to close it down for several hours.

In Denver, a peaceful group of protesters pleaded for nonviolence in front of the Colorado Capitol building.

In Chicago, Mr. Obama’s hometown, more than 200 chanted “We are Mike Brown!” and “I am Mike Brown!” outside of police headquarters, The Chicago Tribute is reporting. They also bore signs saying “Won’t stop ‘til we get justice.” Protesters shut down parts of Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan, one of the downtown area’s main thoroughfares.

Hours after Mr. Obama gave a televised speech beseeching calm despite the news, a peaceful crowd of around 300 gathered outside the White House, Washington’s NBC4 reported.

Despite unseasonably warm temperatures, many of the protesters wore sweatshirts bearing the logos of D.C. universities and chanted “Black lives matter!” Despite a heightened presence of both D.C. Metro Police and the Secret Service, no altercations were reported, and the crowd began to disperse as Monday night became Tuesday morning.

Vigils, peaceful gatherings and vocal protests were seen from as far away as Bangor, Maine, to Toledo, Ohio, and Detroit which, like Los Angeles, has seen its share of riots over police action in the past. So far only the Ferguson protests have been particularly violent.

So far 29 people have been arrested in Ferguson, CNN said.

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