Ferguson, Missouri has become a ground zero of protests between civilians and law enforcement. The protests began when a black man by the name of Michael Brown got shot and killed by a white police officer, Darren Wilson, according to CNN. Recently on Nov.24, it was announced that the Ferguson grand jury decided not to indict the officer. According to the New York Times, a wave of anger was instilled in the hours after the verdict, because civilians did not agree with the verdict.
“I don’t approve of the protests because it perpetuates the stereotype and will only instill a stronger, more paranoid police force in the area. It’s counterproductive,” senior Phillip Tang said.
Demonstrators reacted peacefully after the verdict in several other cities, including New York; Oakland; Philadelphia; Detroit and Washington, D.C. In New York, hundreds marched to Times Square chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police.” On the same day, protesters in Oakland, Calif., blocked an intersection by lying down in silent protest, then marched down Broadway shouting, “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter,” according to USA Today.
While there are peaceful protests, there have also been individuals who have looted and vandalized businesses, according to CNN. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said that at least a dozen buildings were set on fire and that there had at least been 150 gunshots, none fired by police, according to USA Today. During the hours right after the grand jury’s decision was announced, the news included images of people looting and destroying property.
“I feel unsafe due to the protests, but I believe that they are right for protesting because I think the decision was unfair to the teenage boy,” senior Raymond Chau said.