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Michael Brown Protests Go Coast To Coast, Officer Wilson Speaks To Press

Americans marched to support justice for Michael Brown and proclaim “Black Lives Matter” from coast to coast yesterday. The nationwide protests occurring in approximately 37 states came in response to Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announcing there would be no indictments after a very odd grand jury process and a general feeling among many in the country that black lives are not valued equally with white lives when it comes to law enforcement and the decision to use deadly force.

The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown is also speaking out. Darren Wilson sat down with ABC New’s George Stephanopoulos and gave his side of the story. According to Wilson, it was Brown who initiated force and Wilson only shot and killed him after fearing for his life. Wilson denied Brown had ever put his hands up to surrender and said Brown was in the process of “charging” at him when Wilson fired the fatal shots. Wilson said he had a clear conscience and wanted to get on with his life.

Wilson is reportedly negotiating with the Ferguson Police Department to leave the force.

A day after protests over the grand jury decision in Michael Brown’s death rocked Ferguson, Mo., people across the country geared up to voice their anger again Tuesday. As of midday, more than 120 protests were planned for Tuesday in 37 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, according to information from a site set up to help organize the efforts.

The planned demonstrations ranged from Bangor, Maine, in the East to Portland, Oregon, in the West; from Edmonton, Alberta, in the North to Miami in the South. In Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, protesters lay down on a sidewalk outside police headquarters as if dead, according to a tweet by Nikki Burdine, a reporter for CNN affiliate WUSA. Some had handwritten notes on their chests: “Black lives matter.”

The protests remained peaceful by and large with scattered incidents of property destruction. In many places such as New York protesters blocked traffic to force the public and media to pay attention to the cause but were allowed to continue unmolested. Arrests were made during the nationwide protests notably in Ferguson where police changed tactics after a night of unrest that left a portion of the city in ashes.

Though many are outraged over the decision to not even bring the killing of Michael Brown to trial, there does not appear to be anything that can be done legally at this point to move the case further. Attorney General Eric Holder said the case was still being investigate on the federal level but given the conduct of Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch it will be hard to bring a case now. McCulloch seemed to work very hard to not only ruin his own case but prevent anyone else from being a successful one.

Where that leaves protesters and others concerned about more just law enforcement remains to be seen. Will the protests continue? And if so, to what end?

CommunityThe Bullpen

Michael Brown Protests Go Coast To Coast, Officer Wilson Speaks To Press

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Americans marched to support justice for Michael Brown and proclaim “Black Lives Matter” from coast to coast yesterday. The nationwide protests occurring in approximately 37 states came in response to Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch announcing there would be no indictments after a very odd grand jury process and a general feeling among many in the country that black lives are not valued equally with white lives when it comes to law enforcement and the decision to use deadly force.

The police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown is also speaking out. Darren Wilson sat down with ABC New’s George Stephanopoulos and gave his side of the story. According to Wilson, it was Brown who initiated force and Wilson only shot and killed him after fearing for his life. Wilson denied Brown had ever put his hands up to surrender and said Brown was in the process of “charging” at him when Wilson fired the fatal shots. Wilson said he had a clear conscience and wanted to get on with his life.

Wilson is reportedly negotiating with the Ferguson Police Department to leave the force.

A day after protests over the grand jury decision in Michael Brown’s death rocked Ferguson, Mo., people across the country geared up to voice their anger again Tuesday. As of midday, more than 120 protests were planned for Tuesday in 37 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Canada, according to information from a site set up to help organize the efforts.

The planned demonstrations ranged from Bangor, Maine, in the East to Portland, Oregon, in the West; from Edmonton, Alberta, in the North to Miami in the South. In Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, protesters lay down on a sidewalk outside police headquarters as if dead, according to a tweet by Nikki Burdine, a reporter for CNN affiliate WUSA. Some had handwritten notes on their chests: “Black lives matter.”

The protests remained peaceful by and large with scattered incidents of property destruction. In many places such as New York protesters blocked traffic to force the public and media to pay attention to the cause but were allowed to continue unmolested. Arrests were made during the nationwide protests notably in Ferguson where police changed tactics after a night of unrest that left a portion of the city in ashes.

Though many are outraged over the decision to not even bring the killing of Michael Brown to trial, there does not appear to be anything that can be done legally at this point to move the case further. Attorney General Eric Holder said the case was still being investigate on the federal level but given the conduct of Prosecuting Attorney McCulloch it will be hard to bring a case now. McCulloch seemed to work very hard to not only ruin his own case but prevent anyone else from being a successful one.

Where that leaves protesters and others concerned about more just law enforcement remains to be seen. Will the protests continue? And if so, to what end?

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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