Ferguson awakes to destruction after a night of rioting

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The US town of Ferguson awoke to scenes of destruction Tuesday after a night of rioting triggered by a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white policeman for the death of a teenage black suspect. Duration: 00:55

Ferguson awakes to destruction after a night of rioting

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Ferguson: US riot town awakes to destruction

by Jennie MATTHEW

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FERGUSON, USA, Nov 25, 2014 (AFP) – The US town of Ferguson awoke to scenes of destruction Tuesday after a night of rioting triggered by a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white policeman for the death of a teenage black suspect.

Police cruisers blocked the main road leading through this small St Louis suburb, sealing off a mile-long stretch of strip malls and apartment buildings littered with debris of looting and clashes with police.

A police helicopter hovered overhead and officers, no-longer in riot gear, warned reporters that it was still too dangerous to enter the area that had seen the worst of the night’s violence and arson.

“We’re dealing with looting, burglary, theft,” an officer told AFP.

The streets were eerily silent but two local stores, boarded up to deter looters, sported a thin collection of Christmas decorations and a sign: “We support the people of Ferguson. We’re open.”

The Family Dollar shop on New Halls Ferry was burnt out, however, and still smouldering, smoke billowing out the back.

Shocked residents stopped to mutter “Oh my God” and take pictures on their cell phones.

Ferguson was already the scene of racially-charged unrest in August after police officer Darren Wilson, responding to reports of a robbery, shot dead 18-year-old Michael Brown during an altercation.

On Monday, trouble erupted again after a grand jury decided not to charge Wilson after hearing testimony that he had fired 12 times in self-defense after Brown grappled with him then ran at him.

Several businesses and at least one police car were set on fire and riot officers responded with teargas, batons and flashbangs after stones and bottles were thrown at their lines.

Morgan Abbott, a 28-year-old local painter, predicted that the violence would continue unless the government acts to appease tensions between black residents and the mainly-white police.

“It’s sad it’s their own community. That’s what gets me more than anything. I couldn’t understand the fires. It’s just that people are so angry they’re burning their own city,” she told AFP.

“Maybe it’ll bring some light. New York is diverse. Chicago is diverse. St Louis is stuck in oppression. Ultimately I think help has to come for this city.”

Angie, an African American mother-of-two, who works in a deli in Ferguson’s shopping mall spoke of a climate of fear in her neighborhood since the shooting.

“This is just horrible,” she said. “I’m in total shock. I’ve never seen a riot like this, never even been close to one. I’m just praying every day I can get safely home.”

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Tags : Rioting, night, after, Destruction, Awakes, Ferguson

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