Nov 25, 2014 3:23 PM
Police across US prepare for more Ferguson rallies
The Associated Press
Police across the U.S. prepared for another day of demonstrations Tuesday after thousands of people in cities from Los Angeles and New York passionately protested a grand jury's decision not to indict a white Ferguson, Missouri, officer who killed a black 18-year-old.
Monday night's protests were largely peaceful but ended with violence and vandalism in at least a couple of major cities.
Renewed plans for marches and rallies came as officials in cities such as Oakland, California, were still cleaning up after scores of people hurled bottles, broke windows, set small fires and vandalized a police car.
At least 40 people were arrested in the melee that escalated after some protesters shut down traffic on a major highway in the San Francisco Bay Area, though no injuries were reported.
In Seattle, police responded with pepper spray and flash-bang grenades after demonstrators threw canned food, bottles and rocks. Protesters also briefly shut down part of an interstate. Five were arrested.
In New York, a man was arrested for throwing a jar full of fake blood that struck Police Commissioner William Bratton and his security detail.
Elsewhere nationwide, demonstrators were mostly law-abiding Monday night, leading marches, waving signs and shouting chants of "hands up, don't shoot," a refrain that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the country.
Activists had planned protests even before the nighttime announcement that Officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in Michael Brown's shooting death.
The racially charged case in Ferguson has inflamed tensions and reignited debates over police-community relations even in cities hundreds of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb.
Rallies were planned Tuesday in many Newark, New Jersey; Portland, Maine; Baltimore; Washington, D.C.; and elsewhere. In the nation's capital, one group lay on the ground to stage a "die-in" in front of Metro police headquarters. The group plans to occupy various buildings in the district over 28 hours.
"Mike Brown is an emblem (of a movement). This country is at its boiling point," said Ethan Jury, a protester in Philadelphia, where hundreds marched. "How many people need to die? How many black people need to die?"
Protests could continue Tuesday in California, including in Oakland, where marchers took over Interstate 580.
In Los Angeles, demonstrations remained mostly small and peaceful, but about 200 people marching toward downtown briefly shut down Interstate 110, City News Service reported.
After midnight, officers wearing riot gear fired hard-foam projectiles into the ground to disperse about 50 protesters downtown, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Police Chief Charlie Beck said Tuesday there were no injuries and no property damage during hours-long demonstrations across LA. Three people were arrested.
After a night of rallies in Chicago, dozens of protesters upset with the grand jury's decision camped out at the doors of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office inside City Hall and planned to remain there throughout the day and overnight. They were holding teach-ins on political issues and "healing circles" for people to discuss experiences with violence in Chicago.
In New York, mostly peaceful protesters swarmed through traffic, closely trailed by police, as they marched to Times Square for a rally.
Another crowd of several hundred continued north up Columbus Avenue on Manhattan's Upper West Side shouting "Don't shoot!"
They were flanked by police on foot and in vehicles with their lights flashing. The activists stopped traffic for more than a dozen blocks.
Police said protesters briefly shut down the Brooklyn Bridge and one of the three spans of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, formerly known as the Triborough Bridge.
Associated Press writers Olga R. Rodriguez in San Francisco; Tami Abdollah in Los Angeles; Sean Carlin in Philadelphia; Deepti Hajela in New York; and Joshua Lederman in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.