WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama urged calm across the nation on Monday in response to the decision by a grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in August.
In brief remarks at the White House, the president acknowledged that anger is "an understandable reaction" to the news that Wilson was let go without being indicted. Still, he said, the jury's decision carries "the rule of law" and people must accept it.
"I join Michael's parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully," Obama said. "Let me repeat Michael's father's words: 'Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son's death to be in vain.'"
The president's plea for nonviolence came just after St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced that members of the jury reached their decision after meeting for 25 days and hearing more than 70 hours of testimony from more than 60 witnesses.
Brown's Aug. 9 death sparked protests in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, and sparked a national debate on the relationship between law enforcement and young black men. On Monday night, police in Ferguson and in cities around the country braced for more protests and possible violence in response to the grand jury's decision.
Obama acknowledged the deeper issues underlying the situation, namely the feeling that laws are often applied in a discriminatory fashion against people of color.
"What is also true is that there are still problems, and communities of color aren't just making these problems up," he said.
The president added that the nation has made "enormous progress" when it comes to dealing with race relations -- something he personally can attest to.
"I have witnessed that in my own life," he said. "To deny that progress, I think, is to deny America's capacity for change."
11/30/2014 3:28 PM EST
Wilson Resigned Over Safety Concerns, Lawyer Says
he white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, this summer, resigned from the force without any severance deal, the mayor of the St. Louis suburb said on Sunday.
The officer, Darren Wilson, announced his resignation late Saturday, saying he feared for his own safety and that of his fellow police officers after a grand jury decided not to indict him in the fatal Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
11/30/2014 7:27 AM EST
10 People Arrested During Portland's Ferguson Protest
PORTLAND, Ore (AP) — Authorities say 10 people have been arrested in Portland during a protest related to the Ferguson, Missouri, police shooting.
The city police bureau says the arrests came Saturday night "after a large group of protesters laid down in the street and refused lawful orders to clear the roadway."
Earlier, the gathering over the Missouri shooting death of a black man by a white police officer included a speech by the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
The Oregonian reports that Jackson urged nonviolence and said the resignation of the officer was "a step in the right direction," but that much remained to be done to achieve justice for the victim.
Police say that after Jackson left, some protesters marched around downtown and sporadically disrupted traffic.
Officials say some bottles were thrown at officers and a police car was damaged.
The nine adults and one juvenile arrested will face charges that include disorderly conduct.
11/29/2014 10:15 PM EST
11/29/2014 10:01 PM EST
Large Police Presence
11/29/2014 9:42 PM EST
Saturday Night Protest In Ferguson
11/29/2014 9:26 PM EST
Armed 'Oath Keepers' Plan To Protest
The NYT reports that armed members of the group "Oath Keepers" are in Ferguson to offer their help protecting businesses from damage.
From the NYT:
The volunteers, who are sometimes described as a citizen militia — but do not describe themselves that way — have taken up armed positions on rooftops here on recent nights....
But on Saturday, with the county police said to be threatening the Oath Keepers with arrest, the volunteers decided to abandon their posts and instead protest against the authorities. Late in the day on Saturday, a protest was being planned for that night.
Read more here.
11/29/2014 6:56 PM EST
Darren Wilson Resigns From Ferguson Police Department
Darren Wilson has resigned from Ferguson police department.
Read his resignation letter below, via St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
"I, Darren Wilson, hereby resign my commission as a police officer with the City of Ferguson effective immediately. I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process."
11/27/2014 12:55 PM EST
Murals In Ferguson
The group that's out painting right now also did this mural. It's a block or so from the Ferguson PD pic.twitter.com/tqgIUhR8C0— Jim Dalrymple II (@JimDalrympleII) November 27, 2014
11/27/2014 11:28 AM EST
Ferguson Protests Hit Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Unrest following the Ferguson grand jury's decision to not indict police officer Darren Wilson has hit the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Using #StopTheParade as a rallying cry, protesters attempted to disrupt the annual parade in New York City. According to Mashable, police arrested some of the demonstrators just as the parade kicked off.
11/27/2014 11:19 AM EST
Ferguson Library Stays Open Throughout The Protests
MSNBC's Steve Kornacki reports on Ferguson's public library, which has remained open throughout the protests.
Over 50 volunteers helped staff the library, which provided free lunches to children as schools remained closed. The library also offered help to businesses who suffered damage during the protests following the grand jury's decision.
"We have a dramatic setting right now but it is not different than what libraries do every day," library director Scott Bonner said.