By Scott Malone and Daniel Wallis, Reuters – November 20, 2014.
(Reuters) – Police in Ferguson, Missouri, kept alert on Thursday for signs of tension after arresting five people for blocking a street the night before in a protest demanding the criminal indictment of a white police officer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in August.
The St. Louis suburb has been bracing for months to learn whether a St. Louis County grand jury will charge police officer Darren Wilson in the slaying of 18-year-old Michael Brown, a case that has become a flashpoint for often-troubled U.S. race relations.
Although the grand jury is slated to continue meeting into January, a decision on the Brown case is expected by the end of this month, and Ferguson residents were left on edge this week by media reports suggesting an announcement was imminent.
The Aug. 9 killing of Brown, who according to a companion’s account was shot with his hands in the air, touched off weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations calling for Wilson’s arrest. Local businesses and schools were preparing for renewed unrest, particularly if the grand jury chooses not to indict Wilson.
On Wednesday night, a few dozen demonstrators returned to the streets, some chanting: “Indict that cop,” as they gathered outside the Ferguson police station late in sub-freezing temperatures…read more.