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November 25, 2014




Ferguson Impacts the Nation

All the Sources in One Report

Streets of Ferguson smolder after grand jury decides not to indict officer  This is what Ferguson looked like Tuesday morning. Shattered glass from looted stores covered the asphalt. Shell casings from unknown shooters littered the ground. And more than a dozen buildings, including stores owned by local residents, had been set ablaze. As protesters hurled bottles, batteries and rocks at police, officers in riot gear responded by shooting bean bags and tear gas. An entire row of businesses on West Florissant Avenue, a major thoroughfare, was engulfed in flames. There were so many infernos that firefighters couldn't rush to every one. Many business owners will return to their shops to see their livelihoods in ruins. Looters broke into a beauty supply store and stole hair weaves and wigs, leaving the heads of mannequins strewn in the middle of the street. And in nearby Dellwood, some people torched a row of cars at a car dealership and set several businesses on fire. The fire district does not feel safe coming out to put out fires because of the gunshots and the looting there taking place," Dellwood Mayor Reggie Jones said. "So they are refusing, basically, to come out and put these fires out. Amid the chaos, police made 29 arrests. No officers suffered any serious injuries. Across the country outrage over the grand jury's decision spread far beyond Ferguson. Protesters gathered in New York, Seattle and Washington, where some laid down on the street outside the White House. More than 120 vigils and gatherings were organized nationwide, including some scheduled for Tuesday. They'll take place in cities big and small -- from Los Angeles to Bangor, Maine. On Tuesday morning, Gov. Jay Nixon ordered more Missouri National Guard members to Ferguson. The Guard is providing security at the Ferguson Police Department, which will allow additional law enforcement officers to protect the public," Nixon's office said. But it's unclear how long standoffs might continue between protesters and police. More than 120 vigils and gatherings were organized nationwide, including some scheduled for Tuesday. They'll take place in cities big and small -- from Los Angeles to Bangor, Maine.

With no indictment, chaos fills Ferguson streets  Chaos returned to the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the death of Michael Brown - a decision that enraged protesters who set fire to buildings and cars and looted businesses in the area where the unarmed, black 18-year-old was fatally shot. Smoke billowed from some businesses Tuesday morning and shattered glass covered the sidewalks in front of others, but the streets in Ferguson were mostly clear. Monday night's destruction appeared to be much worse than protests after August's shootings, with more than a dozen businesses badly damaged or destroyed. Authorities reported hearing hundreds of gunshots, which for a time prevented fire crews from fighting the flames. In the first flash of unrest after the grand jury announcement, Belmar said he told officers to back off, suggesting they handle the situation as if it were a festival or baseball game. But the situation quickly "spun out of control," as protesters looted businesses and set fire to numerous vehicles, including at least two police cars. Officers eventually lobbed tear gas from inside armored vehicles to disperse crowds. There were at least 29 arrests, police said. Thousands of people rallied - mostly peacefully - in other U.S. cities on Monday night, and President Barack Obama appealed for calm and understanding, pleading with both protesters and police to show restraint. About 10 St. Louis-bound flights were diverted or canceled Monday night because of concern about gunfire being aimed into the sky, a Lambert-St. Louis International Airport spokesman said, but the restrictions expired at 3:30 a.m. There were about 25 fires set overnight, and 10 cars burned at a dealership, Ferguson Assistant Fire Chief Steve Fair told local media. A pizza shop, beauty supply store and two auto parts stores were among those fires.

Thousands rally across U.S. after Ferguson decision
Thousands of people rallied late Monday in U.S. cities including Los Angeles and New York to passionately but peacefully protest a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed a black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri. They led marches, waved signs and shouted chants of "hands up, don't shoot," the refrain that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the country. The most disruptive demonstrations were in St. Louis and Oakland, California, where protesters flooded the lanes of freeways, milling about stopped cars with their hands raised in the air. Police departments in several major cities braced for large demonstrations with the potential for the kind of violence that marred nightly protests in Ferguson after Brown's killing. Demonstrators there vandalized police cars and buildings, hugged barricades and taunted officers with expletives Monday night while police fired smoke canisters and tear gas. Gunshots were heard on the streets and fires raged. As the night wore on, dozens of protesters in Oakland got around police and blocked traffic on Interstate 580. Officers in cars and on motorcycles were able to corral the protesters and cleared the highway in one area, but another group soon entered the traffic lanes a short distance away. Police didn't immediately report any arrests. In Seattle, marching demonstrators stopped periodically to sit or lie down in city intersections, blocking traffic before moving on, as dozens of police officers watched. After hours of marching peacefully, protesters also hurled canned food, bottles and rocks, police said. Five people were arrested. In New York, the family of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man killed by a police chokehold earlier this year, joined the Rev. Al Sharpton at a speech in Harlem lamenting the grand jury's decision. Later, several hundred people who had gathered in Manhattan's Union Square marched peacefully to Times Square. In Los Angeles about 100 people gathered in Leimert Park, and a group of religious leaders held a small news conference demanding changes in police policies. A group of about 200 demonstrators marched toward downtown. After midnight, about 100 police officers wearing riot gear fired hard foam projectiles into the ground to disperse about 50 protesters on Pico Boulevard in downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. Chris Manor, with Utah Against Police Brutality, helped organize an event in Salt Lake City that attracted about 35 people. associatedpress

Hundreds march in NYC to protest Ferguson decision
Protestors gathered in Union Square and Times Square Monday night after a grand jury decided not to indict a police officer for shooting an unarmed African-American teen in Ferguson, Mo. The protesters gathered in Union Square Monday night when it was announced that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the death of Michael Brown. They chanted "hands up, don't shoot" while holding up signs saying "Black lives matter" and "jail killer cops." The protesters then swarmed through traffic, closely trailed by police officers, as they marched up to Times Square where they held a rally. Police said that protesters briefly shut down the Triborough and Brooklyn bridges. One person was in custody for tossing some kind of red liquid that splattered Police Commissioner William Bratton slightly as he walked in Times Square, police said. With the death of a man last week in a New York city housing project at the hands of a police officer, Mr. Sharpton said, "Let it be clear that we are dealing with the same attitudes of Ferguson right here in the city. Ferguson is not just in Missouri." "We can lose a round, but the fight is not over," Mr. Sharpton said.

NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton Spattered With Red Paint Amid NYC Ferguson Protests  New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton was spattered with what appeared to be red paint Monday as protesters flooded Times Square to protest a Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown earlier this year. More than a thousand protesters marched throughout the city, with groups temporarily shutting down the Brooklyn and Robert F. Kennedy bridges. The paint tossing resulted in the only arrest reported during the protests in New York City following the announcement of the grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in Brown's death.

St Louis County police report 'heavy automatic gunfire' in the area of the largest protests in Ferguson  Before midnight, St. Louis County police officers reported heavy automatic gunfire in the area where some of the largest protests were taking place. Flights to Lambert-St. Louis International Airport were not permitted to land late Monday as a safety precaution, officials said. Mayor James Knowles III of Ferguson, reached on his cellphone late Monday, said he was there and wanted to see National Guard troops, some of whom were stationed at a police command center, move to protect his city. "They're here in the area," he said. "I don't know why they're not deploying." Just after 1 a.m., Gov. Jay Nixon called up additional members of the National Guard to Ferguson, where they will provide security for the police headquarters. At a news conference around 1:30 a.m., Jon Belmar, the St. Louis County police chief, said at least a dozen buildings had been set on fire. "As soon as Mr. McCulloch announced the verdict, the officers started taking rocks and batteries," said Chief Belmar, who said he personally heard about 150 shots fired. He said the police did not fire a shot.

In Philadelphia, several hundred protesters marched through downtown yelling "No justice, no peace, no racist police!"  A similar protest of about 50 people in Pittsburgh was short-lived. Activists said they planned to regroup Tuesday at the federal courthouse. About 15 people gathered in front of the Theodore Levin United States Federal Courthouse in Detroit earlier on Monday night. In Sanford, Fla., protesters were to march at the local county courthouse. Sanford is the site of the February 2012 shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, another unarmed African American teen, by neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman. In Topeka, Kan., protest organizers posted instructions on the Tumblr page of an informal group known as the Ferguson National Response Network, telling attendees to "Dress warmly - Bring signs." The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri said the decision "does not negate the fact that Michael Brown's tragic death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable."

QuikTrip voluntarily closed four of its convenience stores in the Ferguson, Missouri area Monday

Video: Ferguson workers waking up to damaged stores
An employee at an auto parts store that was broken into says damage like this, at this time of year, means everyone will have to sacrifice time with their families to fix what was done.

St. Louis area stores, employers, malls closed ahead of grand jury decision
Plaza Frontenac and The Galleria both closed their doors at 6 p.m. today. The Galleria usually closes at 10 p.m.; Plaza Frontenac at 9 p.m. Customers who called the main number at the Macy's at The Galleria Monday afternoon were greeted with this message: "Due to circumstances beyond our control, our store is currently closed." The Galleria 6 motion picture theater also closed at 6 p.m. QuikTrip and Best Buy are among other major retailers that decided to temporarily close some local stores. Several said they will remain closed Tuesday as a precautionary measure.

Police refuse to waive security guard rules to meet Ferguson-fueled demand 
Local and out-of-state guard companies are asking the St. Louis County police for exemptions in security officer licensing requirements to meet an increased demand as the Ferguson grand jury decision draws nearer. Police Chief Jon Belmar explained, "I'm reluctant to recommend a variance. If we have an issue of a security officer involved in an incident and someone gets hurt, certainly the question that can come back to us is, 'You licensed this individual, did you follow your normal protocol?' And our answer must be, 'Yes.'" Since 2012, the county had handled licensing for the approximately 8,600 private guards who work there and in the city of St. Louis. Burk said his phone continues to ring with calls from companies still seeking exemptions. He said he's had many but has not kept a tally. While the police board balked at granting exemptions, the department has expedited a process that used to take three to six weeks - much of it for fingerprint checks by the Missouri Highway Patrol. The work has been compressed into three days, with help from the patrol and by offering classes on weekends to train potential security officers. AlliedBarton's letter, dated Oct. 30, requested that security officers be allowed to work before the fingerprint reports come back because the delay "limits our ability to provide our clients the increased coverage they are requesting during this time." A letter dated Nov. 14 from G4S requests temporary waivers for 350 guards licensed in other states "due to a high volume of requests from local businesses for emergency security coverage." The letter cites "Wells Fargo, Bank of America, American Water and Trader Joe's just to name a few."

Today's Special Report is sponsored by Security Resources.




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