White House

Hundreds of Ferguson Protesters March in Downtown D.C.

Hundreds of protesters convened at Mount Vernon Square in Downtown D.C. Tuesday evening to protest a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed a black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri. 

As the crowd grew to more than 1,000 people around 8 p.m., the crowd continued marching around Chinatown, H Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW chanting, "No justice, no peace."

They remained in the area through the evening, and though most protesters were peaceful, some on social media reported an American flag was burned.

"Police actually helped to shut down the street so that we could walk [and] protest without being in harm's way," a woman told News4.

Later on, the crowd sang "We Shall Overcome" outside the National Portrait Gallery, in an effort to wrap up the protest around 9:30 p.m. 

A couple hundred protesters went on to the White House around 10 p.m. 

Earlier in the day, one group lay on the ground to stage a "die-in'' in front of Metro police headquarters to symbolize Michael Brown's death in the streets of Ferguson.

"We did the 'die-in' for four and a half minutes to represent the four and a half hours they let Michael Brown lay in the street dead, unattended," said protest organizer Angie Brilliance.

Before leaving, one of the protesters went into police headquarters to deliver a letter to D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier, asking for better oversight and accountability over law enforcement.

"Interacting with a police officer in Northeast is not the same as interacting with a police officer in Southeast, and that's a problem," added Johnathan Lyke, who also helped to organize the protest.

Tuesday afternoon, dozens of protestors with Black Youth Project staged another "die-in" on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the Wilson Building.

In Baltimore, roughly 100 Morgan State University students gathered outside a police station with signs, in what police called a peaceful protest. Other protests were held at the University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campuses.

Baltimore People's Power Assembly is planning a protest at McKeldin Square. Another group plans to march on City Hall.

The announcement that the grand jury in Missouri declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, sparked protests in the small St. Louis suburb. Police reported instances of looting, bottles being thrown at officers, fires and gunshots.

Police made 29 arrests and seized a sem-automatic handgun, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference early Tuesday. At least 150 gunshots had been fired, Belmar said.

Across the country, reaction ranged from marches that threatened to shut down busy streets to gatherings near national landmarks.

Outside the White House Monday, hundreds of people waved signs and chanted "justice for Michael Brown'' after marching through the streets.

Protestors also held their hands up in the air to demonstrate their belief Brown's hands were up when he was shot. Some demonstrators closed U Street in northwest D.C. before marching to the White House, News4's Shomari Stone reported.

Two or three dozen Secret Service and some D.C. police monitored the demonstration, but authorities took the position of allowing protesters to say what they wanted for as long as they wanted, Bensen reported. The crowd began to disperse before midnight.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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