Ferguson Protesters Unleash Rage From Coast to Coast – NBCNews.com
Anger over a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict the police officer who shot Michael Brown to death continued to reverberate around the country Tuesday, with protests and demonstrations from coast to coast.
A melee broke out after protesters shut down a San Francisco highway, a car plowed through a crowd in Minneapolis and marchers in New York City caused a 12-block backup at the entrance to the Lincoln Tunnel.
In New York City, about 250 protesters again gathered in the famed Union Square and began marching up Broadway on Tuesday evening, holding signs reading “We will not be silent” and “A badge is not a license to kill,” NBC New York reported.
Several major streets, highways and bridges were gridlocked late into the night throughout the night as protesters marched from Union Square north to Times Square, then back downtown toward the Manhattan Bridge.
Ramps to the Massachusetts Avenue Connector in Boston were closed Tuesday night as state police tried to keep an estimated 1,400 protesters from marching onto the highway. State police told NBC News it was possible some in the crowd were trying to reach the South Bay House of Correction.
And protesters in Philadelphia held more demonstrations Tuesday, with rallies taking place at the Byrne Federal Courthouse along Independence Mall and at City Hall, NBC Philadelphia reported. Police estimated that 500 took part in the protests at their height.
Police were in a standoff with protesters in Portland, Oregon, when about 200 of them broke off from a peaceful demonstration and tried to cross a bridge on foot, NBC station KGW reported. Traffic was blocked at a major downtown intersection, and the bridge was closed about 7:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. ET).
In Washington, D.C., one group staged a “die-in” in front of police headquarters to symbolize Brown’s death in the streets of Ferguson.
“We did the ‘die-in’ for 4½ minutes to represent the 4½ hours they let Michael Brown lay in the street dead, unattended,” protest organizer Angie Brilliance told NBC Washington.
Hundreds of Seattle high school students walked out of classes Tuesday and rallied at the University of Washington or marched to the downtown federal courthouse.
And a rally in Minneapolis turned scary when a car plowed through a crowd of protesters. Several hundred people had gathered Tuesday afternoon near the 3rd Precinct police outpost to show solidarity with Brown. Video from the Star Tribune shows the car driving through the group of protesters, seemingly running over a woman’s leg and hitting other protesters, who then start beating on the Subaru Outback’s windows.
Authorities say that the driver was found and is cooperating with police and that the victim sustained minor injuries, according to NBC station KARE.
At least 40 people were arrested in a melee that escalated after some protesters shut down traffic on a major highway in the San Francisco Bay Area on Tuesday, while in Oakland people were still cleaning up after more than 1,000 people took part in a march that turned destructive.
In Southern California, several hundred protesters marched across Los Angeles, engaging police in a standoff at a freeway ramp and surrounding a state Highway Patrol car, NBC Los Angeles reported. Demonstrators threw debris onto U.S. 101, better known as the Hollywood Freeway, bringing traffic to a halt in both directions on one of the busiest streets in America. Police said an officer was injured when a frozen water bottle was hurled at his head near police headquarters downtown.
Meanwhile in Cleveland, the demonstrations had double meaning: Hundred people marched down a freeway exit ramp to block rush-hour traffic while protesting the grand jury’s decision in Ferguson, as well as Saturday’s fatal shooting of a 12-year-old Cleveland boy by a police officer who thought a toy gun was real.
“The system wasn’t made to protect us,” said one of the protesters, 17-year-old Naesha Pierce, who stayed up until 3 a.m. watching television coverage from Ferguson. “To get justice, the people themselves have to be justice.”
- Governor Nixon Orders 2,200 National Guard Troops Into Ferguson
— with The Associated Press