WATCH ABOVE: On the second night of protests in Ferguson, violent protesters vandalized a police car and threw rocks at City Hall.
- Officer Darren Wilson speaks out on shooting
- Gov. Jay Nixon orders additional National Guard reinforcements
- Ferguson mayor criticizes Governor’s response to
- Brown family speaks out against the grand jury process in press conference
- Officials deal with the aftermath of Monday’s violence and destruction
- Photos released of Darren Wilson in hospital after confrontation
- Rallies continue across U.S.
FERGUSON, Mo. — Hundreds of additional National Guard troops rolled into Ferguson on Tuesday, a day after protesters looted businesses and set fire to buildings in a night of rage against a grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown.
Meanwhile, officer Darren Wilson broke his long public silence, insisting on national television that he could not have done anything differently in the confrontation with Brown.
In the aftermath of Monday’s violence, Missouri governor Jay Nixon more than tripled the number of Guard soldiers sent to the St. Louis suburb, ordering the initial force of 700 to be increased to 2,200 in hopes that their presence would help local law enforcement keep order in the St. Louis suburb.
“Lives and property must be protected,” Nixon said. “This community deserves to have peace.”
About 50 protesters converged on a barricade guarded by 30 Guard members. The group chanted “Whose streets, our streets,” ”This is what democracy looks like” and “Hands up don’t shoot,” a slogan that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings.
WATCH: Ferguson protests for the second night in a row
Authorities in Ferguson have responded quickly after a police car was set on fire outside city hall.
The car appeared to have been set on fire Tuesday night by a group of people who had broken off from what had been a largely peaceful crowd protesting a grand jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
Police used a fire extinguisher to douse the flames and many people scattered as additional officers responded to the scene, though many continued to gather near the damaged car.
Outside police headquarters in Ferguson, one woman was taken into custody after protesters threw what appeared to be smoke bombs, flares and frozen water bottles at a line of officers. Two other protesters wearing masks were arrested after defying police instructions to get out of the street.
Other demonstrations were held across the country for a second day. Hundreds of Seattle high school students walked out of classes, and several hundred people marched down a Cleveland freeway ramp to block rush-hour traffic.
During an interview with ABC News, Wilson said he has a clean conscience because “I know I did my job right.”
Wilson, 28, had been with the Ferguson police force for less than three years before the Aug. 9 shooting. He told ABC Brown’s shooting marked the first time he had fired his gun on the job.
WATCH: Ferguson Mayor critical of National Guard
Earlier, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said it was “deeply concerning” that the National Guard wasn’t deployed quickly enough to help stop the violence and property destruction that followed the decision not to indict Wilson.
“Unfortunately, as the unrest grew, and further assistance was needed, the National Guard was not deployed in enough time to save all of our businesses,” James Knowles said Tuesday. “The decision to delay the deployment of the National Guard is deeply concerning.”
Brown family attorneys criticize grand jury process, prosecutor
Attorneys for Michael Brown’s family on Tuesday vowed to push for federal charges against the Ferguson police officer who killed the unarmed 18-year-old, and they renewed their calls for peace following a night of violent protests in which several businesses were burned to the ground.
The attorneys said the grand jury process was rigged from the start to clear the white officer, Darren Wilson, in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Brown, who was black. And they criticized everything from the types of evidence St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch presented to the jury to the way it was presented and the timing of the grand jury’s decision. They also said they hope that a federal civil rights investigation will result in charges against Wilson.
“We said from the very beginning that the decision of this grand jury was going to be the direct reflection of the presentation of the evidence by the prosecutor’s office,” said attorney Anthony Gray, who suggested McCulloch presented some testimony, including from witnesses who did not see the shooting, to discredit the process.
Aftermath of Monday’s violence
Smoke billowed from burned-out buildings and sidewalks were strewn with broken glass Tuesday after Ferguson erupted over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white police officer in the killing of unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Firefighters were dousing the blackened remains of some Ferguson businesses and at least one was still ablaze Tuesday morning. Some stores that escaped fire had their display windows smashed, but the St. Louis suburb’s streets were mostly clear.
WATCH: Trayvon Martin’s mother urges for calm
Monday night’s protests were far more destructive than any of those that followed Brown’s Aug. 9 death, with more than a dozen businesses badly damaged or destroyed. Authorities reported hearing hundreds of gunshots, which for a time prevented fire crews from fighting the flames.
There were 61 arrests in Ferguson overnight, many for burglary and trespassing, St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said. There were 21 arrests in St. Louis, where protesters broke some store windows along South Grand Avenue, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said.
There were 61 arrests in Ferguson overnight, many for burglary and trespassing, and 21 in St. Louis, where protesters broke some store windows along South Grand Avenue.
Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County police, said that unless his agency could bring in 10,000 officers, “I don’t think we can prevent folks who really are intent on destroying a community.”
At least 18 people were injured and sought treatment at area hospitals, including someone who was shot and was recovering Tuesday at SSM DePaul Health Center. The hospital didn’t give any details about the shooting. Two other people were admitted to Barnes-Jewish Hospital for undisclosed injuries. Everyone else was treated and released.
WATCH: Ferguson protesters react to the grand jury announcement (WARNING: Contains graphic language. Discretion is advised.)
Brown’s parents made public calls for peace in the run-up to Monday’s announcement, and on Tuesday, their representatives again stressed that those setting fires and engaging in violence were not on Michael Brown’s side.
There were several protests during the day Tuesday, including one in Clayton, where the grand jury met, in which clergy members and others blocked morning traffic for several hours and another in downtown St. Louis where demonstrators swarmed the steps of a federal courthouse and stopped traffic. Nobody was arrested at the Clayton protest and at least four people were arrested at the one in St. Louis.
Many area districts cancelled classes out of concern for the safety of students traveling to and from school.
The grand jury’s decision means that Wilson will not face any state criminal charges for killing Brown, whose death inflamed deep racial tensions between many black Americans and police.
Attorneys for Brown’s family said they hope that an ongoing federal civil rights investigation will lead to charges. For that to happen, though, investigators would need to satisfy a rigorous standard of proof in order to mount a prosecution. The department also has launched a broad probe into the Ferguson Police Department, looking for patterns of discrimination.
Regardless of the outcome of those investigations, Brown’s family could also file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Wilson.
Wilson’s lawyers issued a statement praising the decision and saying the officer, who has remained out of the public eye since the shooting, is grateful to his supporters.
“Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions,” the lawyers wrote. “Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law.”
WATCH: Al Sharpton calls Ferguson prosecutor a hypocrite over media criticism
McCulloch, seeming defensive, spoke for 45 minutes on Monday while explaining the grand jury’s decision. He said the jury of nine whites and three blacks met on 25 separate days over three months and heard more than 70 hours of testimony from about 60 witnesses, including three medical examiners and experts on blood, toxicology and firearms. He repeatedly cited what he said were inconsistencies and erroneous witness accounts, and he never once mentioned that Brown was unarmed.
As McCulloch read his statement, Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, sat atop a vehicle listening to a broadcast of the announcement. When she heard the decision, she burst into tears and began screaming before being whisked away by supporters. The crowd with her erupted in anger, converging on the barricade where police in riot gear were standing and pelting them with objects, including a bullhorn. The officers stood their ground.
The protest became more chaotic, with protesters looting and setting fire to businesses and vehicles, including at least two police cars. Officers eventually lobbed tear gas from inside armored vehicles to disperse crowds.
Shortly after the announcement, authorities released more than 1,000 pages of grand jury documents, including Wilson’s testimony.
WATCH: Little Caesars pizzeria goes up in flames during Ferguson protests
Wilson told jurors that he initially encountered Brown and a friend walking in a street and, when he told them to move to a sidewalk, Brown responded with an expletive. Wilson then noticed that Brown had a handful of cigars, “and that’s when it clicked for me,” he said, referring to a radio report minutes earlier of a robbery at a nearby convenience store.
Wilson said he asked a dispatcher to send additional police, and then backed his vehicle up in front of Brown and his friend. As he tried to open the door, Wilson said Brown slammed it back shut.
The officer said he pushed Brown with the door and Brown hit him in the face, leading him to draw his gun and threaten to shoot Brown. He said Brown grabbed the gun and, fearing for his life, he fired it. Brown then fled and Wilson gave chase. At some point, Brown turned around to face the officer.
WATCH: Uproar over the decision in Ferguson reaches Washington, as thousands gathered in front of the White House
Witness accounts were conflicted about whether Brown walked, stumbled or charged back toward Wilson before he was fatally wounded, McCulloch said. There were also differing accounts of how or whether Brown’s hands were raised. His body fell about 153 feet from Wilson’s vehicle.
The August shooting heightened tensions in the predominantly black suburb that is patrolled by an overwhelmingly white police force. As Brown’s body lay for hours in the center of a residential street, an angry crowd of onlookers gathered. Rioting and looting occurred the following night, and police responded with armored vehicles and tear gas.
Protests continued for weeks – often peacefully, but sometimes turning violent, with demonstrators throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails and police firing smoke canisters, tear gas and rubber bullets. Nixon briefly summoned the National Guard.
Ashon Bumaka, 46, of nearby Black Jack, surveyed the damage Tuesday morning.
“As you can see, it’s sad man … this don’t look like a city in the United States. Right now this looks like some foreign area that the government has betrayed the people.”