How St. Louis County Voters Could Fire Bob McCulloch

Categories: Ferguson

Theo Welling
Protesters are directing their (somewhat misspelled) anger at St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch -- but could they remove him from office? (See more protest photos here).
It's been two days since St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch delivered his rambling, shade-filled announcement of the non-indictment of Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, and the ensuing confusion, doubt and anger -- and occasional violence -- continues to rock the St. Louis region.

But while analysis of McCulloch's announcement initially focused on the curious timing of the press conference, journalists and other experts have been tearing through the hundreds of pages of witness testimony from the grand-jury investigation. The picture that has emerged, so far, is conflicted: Though abnormal, experts say McCulloch's handling the grand jury doesn't appear illegal. On the other hand, McCulloch has been accused of being a self-serving tactician who schemed to both overwhelm the grand jury and protect himself from the inevitable backlash to the non-indictment.

All of this got us thinking: If there was enough popular discontent with McCulloch, could he be recalled from office?

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PHOTOS: Cities Across America Protest for Ferguson

Categories: Ferguson

Tony Nelson for Minneapolis City Pages
Minneapolis was just one of many cities to stage demonstrations in support of Ferguson.

The shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9 immediately inspired a wide range of emotions and reactions nationwide, and the grand jury's decision on November 24 not to bring charges against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson has reignited those feelings.

This week, citizens around the country (and elsewhere) vocalized their concerns about what they believe is a corrupt judicial system by marching through their own city streets. From Los Angeles to New York, Miami to Seattle, demonstrators showed their support for Brown's family and for Ferguson. The movement is similar to national protests and vigils that occurred in August. Below, we've collected just a few of the photos taken in cities nationwide, including those snapped by our Voice Media sister newspapers.

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[VIDEO] Blacks and Whites in Clayton Unite in Anger, Sadness After Grand Jury Decision

Categories: Ferguson

Tony Barsanti
Tears and hugs after the grand jury's announcement.
As St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch read the grand jury's decision inside the justice center in Clayton, a small, racially-mixed crowd gathered outside, surrounded by swarms of media, to hear the announcement.

After a long prelude from McCulloch, the final decision came down: no true bill. Riverfront Times videographer Tony Barsanti captures spontaneous outpouring of anger, sadness and neighborly outreach that happens next:

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National Guard a Welcome Sight for Long-Time Downtown Ferguson Resident

Categories: Ferguson

Mitch Ryals
Greg Hilderbrand and Laura Charles guard their apartment Monday night in Ferguson.
Greg Hilderbrand welcomed the National Guard soldiers milling around his back door Tuesday afternoon. Unfortunately, they were a day late.

During a chaotic Monday night, the National Guard was no where to be found as angry rioters looted and burned dozens of businesses in Ferguson following a grand jury's decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson. On Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon ordered 2,200 National Guard troops to protect the city.

Hilderbrand's loft apartment above the Chinese Gourmet restaurant on South Florissant Road narrowly escaped being a target of Monday's vandalism.

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[VIDEO] Why Anthony Shahid Wears Chains, Brings Stuffed Dogs to Ferguson Protests

Categories: Ferguson

Image via
It's always easy to spot Anthony Shahid at a protest.
Ever watch TV footage or a livestream of a Ferguson protest and wonder, "Wait, who is the guy with the chains and stuffed dogs?"

Allow us to introduce you. He's Anthony Shahid, a leading St. Louis-area civil-rights activist and a regular face at the protests spurred by the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson.

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Freelance Reporters Robbed at Gunpoint, Chased Off Canfield Drive for Filming

Categories: Ferguson

Jessica Lussenhop
Monday, November 24, on Canfield Drive.

The site of Michael Brown's killing has become particularly dangerous for media members in the last 24 hours. A crew of four freelance journalists was robbed at gunpoint this evening around 8 p.m. as they tried to film a segment at the Canfield Drive memorial.

Emily Molli, a freelancer filing for Chinese network Xinhua News Agency, said she was standing behind the camera while her colleague Marcus DiPaola was filming. She said she saw a large group of young men wearing masks and carrying guns walk towards them.

"They got closer and then I heard them say, 'Turn the camera off, turn the camera off," Molli told Daily RFT. "They came sort of at us and tried to grab the camera."

The crew packed up and began walking to their car, but Molli and DiPaola said the men followed them, yelling. The reporters managed to make it inside their Prius before the group caught up and began smashing the windows.

"One guy pulled [the car door] back open, got a gun out of his backpack and pointed it at my head. He tells me to get out of the car and give me the keys," said Molli. "That's what I did."

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Someone Torched Michael Brown Sr.'s Church

Jessica Lussenhop
Fire damage in the front room of the Flood Church on West Florissant.
The church attended by Michael Brown Jr.'s father was lit ablaze by arsonists at some point last night or possibly early this morning. Michael Sr. and his wife Cal were just there this past Sunday before the family was collectively baptized at another church just a few minutes down the road in Jennings.

At least a dozen Ferguson business were consumed in fires in the aftermath of the no-indictment announcement from the grand jury. However, the Flood Church fire is an outlier as it is located a mile away from the most destroyed parts of West Florissant, and the surrounding businesses were not damaged in any way.

"You go down this street, you see nothing else touched," said Pastor Carlton Lee after a press conference with the Brown family at Greater St. Mark Missionary Baptist Church. He said he strongly believes his church was targeted.

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16 Photos of Ferguson Burning

Categories: Ferguson

All photos by Steve Truesdell
The Hunan Chop Suey in the 9800 block of West Florissant Avenue burns.
"Burn this motherfucker down!"

When the grand jury announced no indictment against Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson, Louis Head rushed to comfort his wife, Lesley McSpadden, Brown's mother. Then, obviously reeling from his wife's pain, he turned to the crowd and shouted: "Burn this bitch down! Burn this bitch down!"

He got his wish.

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After Promises of Advance Notice, Nighttime Release of Grand Jury Decision Stuns St. Louis

Categories: Ferguson

Bryan Sutter
A police officer patrols Ferguson protests. Check out more photos from Ferguson in our RFT slideshow.
Just 24 hours ago, everybody in St. Louis seemed to know someone getting advance notice of the grand jury's decision regarding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Law enforcement officers said they'd get 48 hours notice from officials. So did medical workers. Schools promised to give parents several hours of notice so they could get children home safely. The message was clear: There will be time to prepare before the big decision comes down.

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Shaw Protesters March, Peacefully Block I-44 Before Riot Cops, Burglaries Take Over

Categories: Ferguson

Theo Welling
St. Louis police in riot gear block South Grand Boulevard shortly after protesters shut down Interstate 44. See more photos here.
They gathered in the designated "safe space" -- MoKaBe's, a Tower Grove South coffeehouse that's usually filled with the din of clinking cups and chatting patrons. But when 8 p.m. rolled around last night, an eerie silence descended. For thirteen minutes around 80 people sat captivated by the voice of St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch, piped in through the shop's sound system.

"The duty of the grand jury is to separate fact from fiction," droned McCulloch. "They accepted and completed this monumental responsibility...they determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against officer Wilson and returned a no true bill on each of the five indictments."

A few sniffles could be heard. Heads bowed. Hugs, once accepted, lingered as McCulloch began to summarize the evidence -- the "accurate and tragic story of what happened" to Michael Brown, a black eighteen-year-old whose death on August 9 spurred months of protests demanding the arrest of Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed the unarmed teen.

"This is nothing new," interjected Lisa Cagle, an activist and graduate student at Washington University, her voice rising above McCulloch's. "We've already heard all this shit. There is nothing new, nothing surprising. We knew this was probably going to happen. So here's what we're going to do. A lot of you are angry, a lot of you are sad.... So we're going to have four-and-a-half minutes of silence. Because after this moment, we're not silent anymore."

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