Cleanup has begun in Ferguson, Missouri, after a night of unrest following a grand jury's decision to not indict officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
Hundreds of people, including university students and local nuns, gathered Tuesday to help those affected along South Florissant Road, according to St. Louis Today. Bricks were thrown through windows and shops were destroyed, but the arrival of good Samaritans offered a glimmer of hope.
"This is the Ferguson community," Maria Flores, 66, whose El Palenque restaurant was damaged Monday night, told St. Louis Today. "When something happens, everyone is there helping each other.''
Terrence Williams, a 23-year-old St. Louis native, headed out Tuesday morning to help repair his broken community.
"I just watched last night from my television and this morning I was like, 'You know what? While they're out there bringing negativity, I'm [gonna] come out and try to breed at least some kind of positivity, let them know that everybody in St. Louis is not negative,'" he told The Huffington Post. "If that means that I have to be out here every single day after they loot, after they vandalize, then I will do that simply to let people know that I love St. Louis, this is where I was born and raised, and no one will come here and tear it down."
— Charles Wade (@akacharleswade) November 25, 2014
Ferguson was hit with looting and arson after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced that Wilson would not be indicted for the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed at the time of his death.
The St. Louis County Police posted about Monday night's protests on Facebook, writing: "What we saw tonight was much worse than what we saw any night in August. Bricks were thrown at police officers, two St. Louis County police cars were set on fire and police seized an automatic weapon."
Missouri Highway Patrol Chief Ron Johnson condemned the looting and violence during a press conference Tuesday morning.
"Those are dreams. Those are small business owners. We've torn those dreams away," he said. "Our community has to take responsibility for what happened tonight. We definitely have done something here that is gonna impact our community for a long time. That's not how we create change."