Protesters across the country are demonstrating in solidarity with marchers in Ferguson, Mo., where a riot broke out Monday night.

After a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, protesters clashed with police officers in the St. Louis suburb. Tear gas filled the air, fires broke out at a dozen locations, and there were reports of looting and nonviolent protesters caught between police and mayhem.

Elsewhere in the country, the demonstrations were mostly nonviolent. As The Guardian reports, Los Angeles stayed calm despite a major freeway closure caused by activists. That may be due to the city’s history of rioting and police brutality:

The Guardian:

A group of protestors squared off with police near the Staples centre and pushed over a fence by the 110 freeway, which it then blocked off for about an hour. They chanted: “No justice, no peace. No racist police!”

Some cited the killing of Ezell Ford, a mentally ill 25-year-old African American shot by two members of the LAPD in in August.

Police fired non-lethal rounds into the ground to disperse the crowd, the LA Times reported. At least one person was detained. Earlier on Monday afternoon, a different group lay down on a street in Beverly Hills to symbolise Brown’s slaying.

LA authorities, mindful of the 1992 riots sparked by the acquittal of four LAPD officers in the beating of Rodney King, said they would continue to permit peaceful gatherings.

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Police are charged with enforcing the peace and keeping order, but they’re also players in this story and, for many of those marching, the chief irritant. Restraint, then, seems a wise course of action.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer


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