Black riots in USA: No charges for US policeman who shot black teen

Written by | November 26, 2014 | 0
FERGUSON: Violent protests erupted in the US town of Ferguson on Monday after a grand jury chose not to press charges against a white officer who shot dead a black teen.

President Barack Obama and the family of slain 18-year-old Michael Brown separately appealed for calm after the St Louis prosecutor revealed the jury’s verdict.

But members of an angry crowd outside the police station where Officer Darren Wilson had been based began throwing bottles and stones. Riot officers responded with tear gas.

As St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch rounded up his summary of the decision, Brown’s mother burst into tears and the crowd began to chant: “Hey, hey, ho, ho! These killer cops have got to go.”

APPEALS FOR CALM IGNORED

In Washington, Obama made a rapidly organized televised appearance to appeal for calm in the Midwestern town, echoing the sentiments of the dead teenager’s family.

“Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honouring their wishes,” Obama said.

“I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur,” he said.

His words fell on deaf ears in Ferguson, where police were pelted with bricks and bottles and responded with volleys of tear gas.

McCulloch told reporters the evidence presented to the grand jury had suggested Wilson had shot as a legitimate act of self-defence during a tussle that broke out as he was responding to a robbery.

He said “an altercation” had broken out as Wilson was sitting in his patrol car and Brown was standing at the window.

“During the altercation, two shots were fired by Officer Wilson while still inside the vehicle,” McCulloch said.

12 SHOTS

After these shots were fired, Wilson is said to have left the car to pursue Brown, who turned on him. More shots were fired and the young man was killed.

McCulloch said forensic evidence showed that Wilson — who was himself slightly hurt in the tussle — had shot twice from within his car and 10 more times as he confronted Brown in the street.

In August, some early witnesses had said that Brown had his hands up and was surrendering when he was killed. But McCulloch said the physical evidence and other witnesses contradicted this account.

“Decisions on a matter as serious as charging an individual with a crime simply cannot be decided on anything less than a complete critical examination of all available evidence,” he said.

In a statement, the Brown family said: “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions.”

“We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful,” the family added, calling for legal reform. “Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction,” the family said.

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