Americans react to the Ferguson grand jury decision

  • A man cheers on a crowd marching toward the White House in Washington, D.C., to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer who killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson.
  • Protesters block Interstate 580 in Oakland, California, on Nov. 24, 2014, after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.
  • A demonstrator is held by police officers on Highway 580 during a demonstration following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Mo. shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, Calif. on Nov. 24, 2014. 
  • A protester sits in a police van after being detained in Times Square following the announcement of the grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, in New York on Nov. 24, 2014
  • Protesters and police clash in front of LAPD Headquarters as people react to the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, in the early morning hours of Nov. 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif.
  • People march during a demonstration in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 24, 2014, following the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • Hundreds of demonstrators, many of them Howard University students, lay on the ground in protest outside the White House after the Ferguson grand jury decision in Missouri on Nov. 24, 2014, in Washington, D.C.
  • A protester talks to police during a demonstration in Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 24, 2014, following the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
  • NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, after being hit with fake blood during a demonstration over the death of Michael Brown in New York’s Times Square on Nov. 24, 2014.
  • Police officers advance on protesters during a demonstration following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of Michael Brown, in Oakland, California, on Nov. 25, 2014.
  • Protesters react to the St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown on Nov. 24, 2014, in Chicago, Illinois.
  • A protester holding a flare runs on Highway 580 in Oakland, California, on Nov. 24, 2014, during a demonstration following the grand jury decision in the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting death of Michael Brown.
  • Protesters gather during a demonstration outside the White House after the announcement of the grand jury’s decision in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Nov. 24, 2014 in Washington, D.C. 
  • Police grab a protester during a demonstration in Oakland, California, following the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on 24, 2014.
  • Local resident Janan Russell (R) and her husband Troy stand in silence during a demonstration outside the White House on Nov. 24, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

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Updated

As protests erupted in Ferguson, Americans across the country took to their own neighborhoods to respond to the grand jury’s decision not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August shooting death of Michael Brown.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Wilson in broad daylight on Aug. 9, following an altercation that ended with Wilson shooting the unarmed teenager at least six times, autopsies revealed. Police say Wilson, who is white, shot the black teen in self-defense after Brown reached for the officer’s gun through the window of the police car. Brown’s body was left in the hot street for hours before it was removed from the scene.

Forensic evidence, published in The New York Times and attributed to unnamed sources, suggested the first shots were fired from inside Wilson’s vehicle. A half-dozen eyewitnesses have said publicly that they saw Brown flee to later turn and put his hands up in surrender as Wilson fired the final fatal shots. But a government official who spoke on condition of anonymity told NBC News’ Pete Williams that Wilson said the teen turned and charged back toward him after running from the vehicle, at which point Wilson feared for his life.

The shooting has become representative of the strained relationship between police and minority communities, as well as American race relations more broadly. When the decision not to indict the police officer for Brown’s death was announced, thousands of Americans took to the streets to protest.

“We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson. This is an issue for America,” President Barack Obama said in a rare late-night address.

While gunfire and flames engulfed parts of Ferguson, Missouri, protesters across the nation — everywhere from Seattle to New York City — were largely peaceful. Here’s a look at the protesters across the country who are making their voices heard.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography 

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