A Glance at Ferguson: Then, Now and the Future

Ferguson protests after grand jury (11/25/14)
Posted at 3:56 PM, Nov 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-16 08:12:38-05

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The weeks of anxious waiting and hours of deliberating ended Monday, 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.

THE LATEST: Officer Darren Wilson remains on administrative leave, which has been the case since the Aug. 9 shooting, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said Tuesday afternoon. Meanwhile, a protest took place in downtown St. Louis, with participants stopping traffic. Earlier Tuesday, attorneys for Michael Brown's family and the Rev. Al Sharpton criticized St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch's decision to take the case in front of a grand jury and not appoint a special prosecutor.

THE BEGINNING: 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.

THE ANNOUNCEMENT: 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.

THE PUBLIC RESPONSE: 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.

Twelve commercial buildings were destroyed by fires, many along a stretch of West Florissant Avenue in the north St. Louis suburb, and there were 12 vehicle fires. Sixty-one people were arrested in Ferguson and 21 were arrested in the Shaw neighborhood of St. Louis, while 18 people had protest-related injuries.

THE DOCUMENTS: More than 1,000 pages of grand jury documents were released Monday, including Wilson's full testimony in which he described the scuffle in his patrol car and recognizing the cigars in Brown's hand as possibly being connected to a report of a convenience store robbery. Wilson also said that Brown approached him: "And when he gets about ... 8 to 10 feet away ... all I see is his head and that's what I shot."

THE FINAL SAY? 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.

WHAT'S NEXT: St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson has scheduled a 5 p.m. Votive Mass for Peace and Justice.

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