The following statement was released by Michael Brown’s family following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision:
“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequences of his actions.
While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.
Join us in our campaigns to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera.
We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.
Let’s not just make noise, let’s make a difference.”
On Monday, November 24, a grand jury decided that there was not enough probable cause to indict police Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 shooting death of Michael Brown.
The shooting of the unarmed Black teen by a white police officer began a nationwide debate, as weeks of peaceful protest were mired by violence, looting, police militarization, and attacks by police on law-abiding citizens and journalists.
In Ferguson, Missouri, at least 150 gunshots were fired, businesses were ravaged, and police cars were vandalized last night, NBC News reported. Police made 82 arrests, including 61 in Ferguson, and at least a dozen buildings were set on fire.
In Seattle, following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision, demonstrators made their way from Westlake Park to Capitol Hill and the Central District as part of a march organized by a group called “Justice for Mike Brown.”
Chanting “Black lives matter” and “Hands up, don’t shoot,” Seattle marchers stopped periodically to sit or lie down in city intersections, blocking traffic before moving on early Monday, KIRO 7 reported.
Police arrested five people after the peaceful demonstration took a tense turn late in the evening, which included a crowd hurling bottles, rocks, and fireworks at officers and a brief closure of Interstate 5, according to the Seattle Police Department.
Last night, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray made the following post on Facebook:
“My message to the young African American men in Seattle today is this: While we do not have the answers today, we in this city are listening to you. Your city hears you. And your city loves you. In this hour of pain, your city is absolutely committed to moving forward with you, together, towards greater peace and greater justice. My message today to all Seattle residents is to ask that we all reach out to our neighbors—across racial and cultural lines in particular—commit to a promise of making our city a better place.”
President Barack Obama also called for a peaceful reaction to the decision.
“We are a nation built on the rule of law, and so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make,” Obama said. “There are Americans who agree with it and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction. But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully.”