Thousands of Americans across the nation, from New York to Los Angeles, have taken to the streets to protest a Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson for any crime in the killing of Michael Brown. A day after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announced there would be no criminal charges against Wilson for the fatal shooting, protests erupted in more than 170 U.S. cities. In city after city, people thronged the streets chanting slogans and demanding change and justice. In New York City, multiple protests developed: Demonstrators marched on Times Square, Union Square, and other sites, saying they wanted to “take back the streets.” In Ferguson itself, 2,200 National Guard troops were deployed to protect and back up police trying to cope with increasingly hostile protesters, and authorities reported at least 44 arrests.
In addition to New York and Los Angeles, protesters in such cities as Atlanta, Dallas, and Boston blocked bridges, tunnels, and major highways as they shouted their anger over the Missouri grand jury’s decision. Many shouted “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and “No justice! No peace!” as they marched. In the Big Apple, protesters shut down lanes of the FDR, known more formally as the Franklin D. Roosevelt East River Drive, as they chanted, “Mike Brown! Mike Brown!” Police, who were nearby in large numbers, stayed back and let the marchers go. Most of the marches were peaceful, although some aggressive protesters were arrested for apparently crossing the line. The protests continued late into the night as authorities struggled to respond.