A night of chaos in Ferguson following the grand jury announcement

  • Walgreens after it was set on fire by protestors rioting after the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown, Nov. 25, 2014. The St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson, Mo. in August. 
  • A firefighter stands next to smoking rubble on Nov. 25, 2014, after protesters burned buildings in protest against the Grand Jury decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo.
  • Police are engulfed in tear gas during clashes with protesters following the grand jury decision in the death 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Nov. 24, 2014.
  • Protesters run for shelter as smoke fills the streets after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • Protesters on the streets of Ferguson late night after the announcement of the Darren Wilson grand jury announcement on Nov. 24, 2014. The St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson, Missouri in August. 
  • A protester walks out of a store with goods after the announcement of the grand jury decision Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. 
  • A man walks past a burning building during rioting after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Nov. 24, 2014. Gunshots were heard and bottles were thrown as anger rippled through a crowd outside the Ferguson Police Department in suburban St. Louis after authorities on Monday announced that a grand jury voted not to indict a white officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen. 
  • Cars burn at a used car dealership, Nov. 25, 2014, in Dellwood, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests.
  • People walk away from a storage facility on fire after the announcement of the grand jury decision, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. 
  • A demonstrator walks down the street after getting tear gas in her face after the Grand Jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 24, 2014.
  • Police officers guard as protesters react to the announcement of the grand jury decision, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
  • Police stand guard during rioting on Nov. 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • Police officers watch as a business burns after it was set on fire during rioting following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on Nov. 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • A protestor stands in front of police vehicles with his hands up during a demonstration on Nov. 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. 
  • A car burns on the street after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 24, 2014.
  • A looter walks out of a burning Walgreens store which was set on fire after protestors rioted following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on Nov. 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.
  • A man enters a burning Walgreens drug store after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 24, 2014. 
  • A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shuttered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
  • A protester stands with his hands on his head as a cloud of tear gas approaches after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., Nov. 24, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said. 
  • Michael Brown’s mother Leslie McSpadden cries outside the police station in Ferguson, Mo. on Nov. 24, 2014 after hearing the grand jury decision on her son’s fatal shooting
  • The mother of Michael Brown, Lesley McSpadden, covered her face after the announced decision by the Grand Jury in Ferguson Mo. on Nov. 24, 2014.
  • A demonstrator listens to a car radio as a grand jury’s decision is delivered in front of the Ferguson police department on Nov. 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. A St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson in August. 
  • Demonstrators react after learning that the police officer who shot dead 18-year-old Michael Brown will not face charge, outside the police station in Ferguson, Mo., on Nov. 24, 2014. The US policeman who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in the Missouri town of Ferguson, triggering weeks of racially-charged unrest, will not face charges, the St Louis County prosecutor said on Nov. 24. Robert McCulloch told reporters that a grand jury had reviewed the evidence gathered about the August shooting and “determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson.” 
  • A woman approaches the barricade to confront the police outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Mo., Nov. 24, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said. 
  • Missouri State Troopers in riot gear stand in formation outside the Ferguson Police Department, Nov. 24, 2014. A St. Louis County grand jury chose not to indict Ferguson policeman Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, 18, St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said. 
  • Demonstrators wait outside the Ferguson police department for the grand jury’s announcement in the Michael Brown case on Nov. 24, 2014. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. A grand jury today declined to indict officer Wilson. 
  • Protesters listen to the announcement of the grand jury decision, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. 
  • Protesters stand atop a car outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, Missouri, Nov. 24, 2014.
  • Protesters hold hands in prayer outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson, M0., Nov. 24, 2014. A Missouri grand jury has made a decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, a killing that sparked angry protests in the St. Louis suburb, the Washington Post reported on Monday. 

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Updated

FERGUSON, Missouri – Violence broke out in the streets here on Monday evening following news that a St. Louis County grand jury did not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Demonstrations that began peacefully in the wake of the announcement took a nasty turn as looters plundered local stores and protesters flipped cars and set buildings and police vehicles ablaze.

As buildings remained burning, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Police Chief Sam Dotson on Tuesday morning addressed the unrest, stating that preparations are in order for another night of violent protests if necessary. “You will see an intervention much more quickly than you did last night,” Slay said.

County prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury’s decision around 9:30 p.m. ET in a lengthy statement at the Justice Center in Clayton, the county seat.  He said that while it was undeniable that Wilson had shot and killed Brown in an altercation on August 9, the grand jury “determined that no probable cause exists” to indict the white officer in the killing. “It doesn’t lessen the tragedy that it was a justifiable use of self-defense,” McCulloch added.

According to Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis Police Department, police were hit with rocks almost immediately after McCulloch made his statement. Despite reports of over 150 shots of gunfire, no officers or citizens lost their lives. No serious injuries were sustained by officers, but police reported on Tuesday morning that tear gas had yet again been used, 61 people were arrested, and 12 buildings were burned beyond saving. The charges ranged from trespassing to burglary to arson.

Brown, 18, was shot and killed by Wilson in broad daylight following an altercation that ended with the officer shooting the unarmed teenager at least six times, autopsies revealed. Police say Wilson, 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.

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