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Ferguson-fueled protests continue across US

SADIE GURMAN, Associated Press

People protesting the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision took to the streets in cities across the U.S. for a second day Tuesday, showing the racially charged case has inflamed tensions even hundreds of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb.

Peaceful demonstrators marched in Seattle and disrupted traffic in St. Louis and Cleveland. Rallies also formed in New Jersey, Maine, Maryland and elsewhere.

In Washington, D.C., one group lay on the ground to stage a “die-in” in front of Metro police headquarters. The protesters planned to occupy various buildings in the district over 28 hours.

For many, the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson recalled other troubling encounters with law enforcement. The refrain “hands up, don’t shoot” became a rallying cry over police killings nationwide.

Here is a look at some of Tuesday’s demonstrations:

ST. LOUIS

Protesters disrupted downtown traffic for several hours by blocking major intersections, an interstate highway and a Mississippi River bridge connecting the city to Illinois.

Riot police arrested several demonstrators who sat in the middle of Interstate 44 near the Edward Jones Dome. They used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Demonstrators also swarmed the steps of the federal courthouse, overturning barricades while chanting, “You didn’t indict. We shall fight.”

SEATTLE

Hundreds of Seattle high school students walked out of classes and rallied at the University of Washington or marched to the downtown federal courthouse.

The protest came a day after demonstrators threw canned food, bottles and rocks, and police responded with pepper spray and flash-bang grenades. Five people were arrested. Demonstrators included the rapper Macklemore

MINNEAPOLIS

A rally in Minneapolis turned scary when a car hit and then drove through several protesters.

Several hundred people gathered Tuesday afternoon near the 3rd Precinct police outpost to show solidarity with Brown. Helicopter footage from KSTP-TV showed the car pushing through protesters and driving over at least one. A woman suffered minor injuries.

OAKLAND

Police braced for more demonstrations in Oakland, where officials were still cleaning up after scores of people hurled bottles, broke windows, set small fires and vandalized a police car Monday night.

At least 40 people were arrested in the melee that escalated after some protesters shut down traffic on a major highway in the San Francisco Bay Area. A police spokeswoman said several officers were injured, but she did not elaborate.

CLEVELAND

Several hundred people marched down a freeway exit ramp to block rush-hour traffic while protesting the Missouri developments and Saturday’s fatal shooting of a 12-year-old Cleveland boy by an officer.

“The system wasn’t made to protect us,” said one of the protesters, 17-year-old Naesha Pierce, who stayed up until 3 a.m. watching television coverage from Ferguson. “To get justice, the people themselves have to be justice.”

Police diverted traffic but took no action against the protesters as they sat in a major intersection.

They were demonstrating after the death of Tamir Rice, who was shot when police responded to a 911 call about a gun at a playground. Police later determined the boy had a pellet gun that looked like a real firearm.

ELSEWHERE

In New York, police noted protests have been large but mostly peaceful, with just two arrests including that of a man who threw a jar of fake blood that struck Police Commissioner William Bratton and his security detail.

After a night of rallies in Chicago, dozens of protesters upset with the grand jury’s decision camped out at the doors of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office. They planned to remain there throughout the day and overnight.

Associated Press writers Ann Sanner and Kantele Franko in Columbus, Ohio; Jeff Baenen in Minneapolis; Olga R. Rodriguez in San Francisco; Deepti Hajela in New York; and Joshua Lederman in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.  

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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