Ferguson saw a new round of protests on Black Friday, as demonstrators tried to disrupt shoppers and shut down busy centers of commerce.
After a relatively quiet Thanksgiving, in which no protesters were arrested in the city of Ferguson, demonstrations returned on Friday to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of teen Michael Brown. The demonstrators shut down three shopping malls in Ferguson, then marched to the city’s police department.
A few miles away from Ferguson at the Galleria mall in Richmond Heights, protesters blocked entrances and chanted, “Stop shopping and join the movement,” forcing officials to close the mall for about an hour. Protesters also led to brief closures at the West County Mall and the Chesterfield Mall.
Police arrested 15 people, with charges that included disturbing the peace and impeding the flow of traffic.
The renewed protests in Ferguson represented the second consecutive day that demonstrations focused on disrupting shopping. Though Ferguson was largely quiet on Thanksgiving, a group of protesters targeted some early shopping at four different Wal-Mart stores as well as a Target in nearby Brentwood.
Ferguson protesters clogged the aisles of the busy stores, shouting “Hand up, don’t shoot,” and “Shut it down!” Other protesters tried to keep shoppers away from Wal-Mart locations, singing “Back away from the Walmart, back away.”
Protesters said they were seeking justice for Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Wilson in August.
“I served my country. I spent four years in the Army, and I feel like that’s not what I served my country for,” 26-year-old Ebonie Tyse told the Associated Press. “I served my country for justice for everyone. Not because of what color, what age, what gender or anything.”
Ferguson was not the only city to see demonstrations on Black Friday. While other locations were also quiet on Thanksgiving, protests continued in other cities including Chicago, New York, and Seattle. In Oakland, protesters chained themselves to trains and in San Francisco a march turned violent as protesters broke windows and threw bottles at police.
[Image via ABC News]