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Clashes, Protests In Ferguson Following Grand Jury's Decision

A storage facility in Ferguson, Mo., is on fire following the decision Monday by a grand jury not to charge officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Demonstrators clashed with police and set buildings on fire. St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar said the unrest was worse that which erupted after Brown was killed in August.
Jeff Roberson AP
A storage facility in Ferguson, Mo., is on fire following the decision Monday by a grand jury not to charge officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Demonstrators clashed with police and set buildings on fire. St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar said the unrest was worse that which erupted after Brown was killed in August.

There are new scenes of violence today in Ferguson, Mo., hours after a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in August.

St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said Monday evening that the grand jury of nine whites and three blacks decided that "no probable cause exists" to file charges against Wilson, who is white, in the death of Brown, who was black.

Shortly after that announcement, demonstrators clashed with police and set buildings on fire, and there were reports of heavy automatic gunfire.

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"What I've seen tonight is probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August, and that's truly unfortunate," St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar said, referring to the rioting that erupted after Brown was killed Aug. 9. He said he had personally heard 150 gunshots.

The Federal Aviation Administration declared a no-fly zone over areas of heavy protests.

Reporter Tim Lloyd of St. Louis Public Radio said on Morning Editionthat the mood at first was tense but peaceful. But soon after the decision, some in the crowd of protesters began throwing rocks at police and windows. Efforts by some demonstrators to urge calm failed. Police ordered the crowds to disperse and, when that didn't work, fired tear gas canisters over the heads of the protesters, Lloyd said.

President Obama, in remarks late Monday, urged calm, and said "we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make." He said the U.S. has made progress in race relations "but what is also true is that there are still problems and communities of color aren't just making these problems up."

Protests against the decision were also held in Oakland, Calif., New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Those protests were peaceful.

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