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Tensions Flare in USA's Ferguson, Missouri

  • Tatenda Gumbo
  • VOA Staff

James Cartmill holds an American flag while protesting in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

James Cartmill holds an American flag while protesting in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, after the announcement that a grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

The Midwestern U.S. town of Ferguson remains tense Tuesday after unrest Monday night following a decision by the grand jury not to indict a white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager earlier this year.

At a nationally televised news conference Tuesday from near Ferguson, attorneys for the Brown family complained about St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCullogh and the grand jury proceedings.

"This process is broken. The process should be indicted," lead attorney Benjamin Crump said, after reviewing transcripts from the grand jury proceedings that were released last night.

Violent protests erupted late Monday after officials announced charges would not be filed against Officer Darren Wilson for the august shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. St. Louis county police chief jon belmar said at least a dozen buildings were set on fire, most of them destroyed. He said there were no reports of injuries. At least 29 people were arrested.

Sheila Chitate, a Zimbabwean living in Dallas, Texas, said like most black Americans and other activists, she’s not pleased with the way the police in Ferguson, handled the case and the announcement of the jury decision.

“I was taken aback by the fact that they didn’t charge him even with involuntarily manslaughter, which could have gone to his defense maybe if he felt threatened,” said Chitate.

She added that the statement presented by St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCullogh blamed the deceased Brown.

“The fact that they thought everything that happened was the fault of the decreased to me shows that the way the case was presented to them by the prosecutor, because there was no defense lawyer there was no judge, he must have presented it to them in a way that favored the police not the deceased,” said Chitate.

In a statement from the White House, President Barack Obama acknowledged some are "deeply disappointed" at the ruling, but called on protesters to remain peaceful. St. Louis county prosecutor Robert Mcculloch said the grand jury met for 25 days and heard 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses.

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