Michael Brown shooting: Protests against Ferguson grand jury decision spread across America

Times Square was closed down to vehicle traffic in New York, while in Washington DC an estimated crowd of 300 people marched towards the White House

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The Independent US

The news that a grand jury had declined to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August ignited instant unrest on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, but more peaceful protests were also taking place in cities all across the country and in Washington DC.

Even as electronic billboards showed the usual commercial cornucopia of retail temptations, Times Square was closed down to vehicle traffic by New York police as hundreds jammed in to express their own disquiet at the ruling.  Protests were also being held in Baltimore and Boston.

In Washington DC an estimated crowd of 300 people marched towards the White House within moments of President Barack Obama going before the nation on live television urging calm and restraint.  Protest chants heard in the nation’s capital included, “Black lives matter”.

New York City also saw a spontaneous protest by roughly 200 people in Union Square, some brandishing signs with messages like “Jail killer cops.” At one point, marchers knocked down police barriers in the square, which is close to New York University, and started making their way into the West Village and then north towards Times Square with police helicopters hovering overhead.

Similar scenes were meanwhile being reported from cities as far apart as Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and Oakland, California.

Protesters demonstrate in Washington DC


Smaller protests were staged in Denver, Colorado, and also in Seattle.  As midnight approached on the East Coast there were no reports of any of the protests beyond the ones in Ferguson itself turning violent, however.

Mindful of recent incursions into the grounds of the executive mansion, the Secret Service last night turned on the floodlights along Pennsylvania as the protest groups approached the White House.