A grand jury in St. Louis County decided not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18 year old Wilson fatally shot following an altercation between the two.
The decision by the grand jury was announced Monday night, setting off protests, violence and looting in the St. Louis area.
At least 61 people were arrested, and at least 10 businesses were destroyed by fire. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the night’s events were “probably much worse than the worst night we ever had in August,” when unrest gripped Ferguson following Brown’s death.
The tumultuous response came despite a statement from Brown’s family requesting peaceful protests. Brown’s parents said in the statement they were “profoundly disappointed” and hoped to see every police officer in the country equipped with a body camera in the future.
President Barack Obama also made a statement, saying he understood why people were upset but calling for the nation to respond peacefully and accept the grand jury’s decision.
The decision set off protests across the state and around the country, including demonstrations in Kansas City and Columbia. Reports indicate those protests were generally peaceful.