With no one knowing how long that process might yet run, residents
are anxious and shop fronts are boarded up in fear of unrest, while
students in one school district began an extended early Thanksgiving
The Aug. 9 killing in Ferguson, Missouri, of 18-year-old Michael
Brown by officer Darren Wilson was the latest flashpoint in
often-troubled U.S. race relations.
Lawyers for Brown's family have said the teen was trying to
surrender when he was shot, while Wilson's supporters say he feared
for his life and only opened fire in self-defense.
More than 100 demonstrators marched in the rain in another St. Louis
suburb late on Sunday, waving placards reading "Where Do You Stand?"
and "Black Lives Matter".
The protesters blocked traffic at an intersection for more than four
minutes in a symbolic gesture to the more than four hours that
Brown's body lay in the street after he was shot.
Some media reports suggested a grand jury decision was coming this
past weekend, fueled by the erection of barriers around the court
where the panel meets and word from prosecutors that they would hold
a news conference to make the announcement.
But the date, time and location of that event are yet to be
determined and the St. Louis County prosecutors' office, which has
repeatedly said it cannot comment on grand jury proceedings, did not
respond to requests for any updates on Sunday.
The Wall Street Journal, citing an unidentified county official,
said the 12-member panel had not reached a decision and would
reconvene behind closed doors on Monday. Reuters could not
independently verify the report.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in
anticipation of the grand jury's verdict and called in the National
Guard. One school district canceled classes on Monday and Tuesday,
although others plan to stay open.
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Ferguson, a predominantly black suburb of 21,000 people, has seen
nightly, peaceful protests since last week by demonstrators
demanding Wilson be indicted. Police have arrested a handful, almost
all for failure to disperse after blocking traffic.
Brown's parents have urged sympathizers to remain peaceful, whatever
Some protesters, who complain they are painted as violent by the
mass media, were angered by a CNN report on Sunday that said two of
its journalists, as well anchors from other major networks, had held
off-the-record meetings with Wilson in the hope of securing his
first broadcast interview.
One activist said the only interview of Wilson he wanted to see
would be conducted by Oprah Winfrey, from prison.
(Editing by Chris Michaud and Paul Tait)
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