As the town of Ferguson, Mo., awaits an announcement from the grand jury about its decision whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, tensions are running high in the St. Louis suburb.
Apparently, they’re running higher with some than with others.
“I honestly believe they are planning to kill us in the streets,” activist Tory Russell told Reuters of the Ferguson Police Department.
One of the co-founders for Hands Up United, Russell said that protesters had hoped to keep demonstrations peaceful in the wake of the expected announcement that Wilson will not face criminal charges for Brown’s death. But negotiations with law enforcement to that end had proved fruitless, he said.
“I told them if there is no indictment, please only come through neighborhoods when called. Please do not continue to traumatize our community,” Russell told Reuters. But “they don’t want to meet with the youth. I honestly believe they are planning to kill us in the streets.”
But it’s threatened violence from the protesters that has other residents concerned. Some area businesses have boarded up windows and taken other precautions in case the riots that followed the shooting in August are repeated following the grand jury verdict.
“We are hoping it’s not going to be as bad as people say it’s going to be,” Dee Butler, a chiropractic office manager, told Reuters. “It looks like there will be protests, but we don’t expect violence.”
Nonetheless, the business planned to box up and take patient records home on Friday in anticipation of an announcement from the grand jury.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch told Reuters he continues to expect a decision in mid-to-late November.
In other words, any time now.
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