No indictment in Ferguson: Tonight’s aftermath in Seattle

6:58 PM: Here’s what’s happening in Seattle right now, after the announcement in Ferguson, Missouri, tonight that a grand jury decided not to indict the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown:

(Photo tweeted by reporter Paige Cornwell of The Seattle Times [WSB partner])
-A protest march is under way in the Westlake Center area downtown. Pine Street is closed between 4th and 5th and might also close to 6th.

-Mayor Ed Murray is planning to meet the media inside City Hall at 7:15 pm, with others listed in the advisory announcement as “Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole, Pamela Banks (Urban League), Pramila Jayapal (state senator-elect), Estela Ortega (El Centro de la Raza) and others.” UPDATE: The mayor’s office says it will be live-streamed here.

-King County Executive and West Seattleite Dow Constantine has sent a written statement:

“We all mourn the loss of a young man’s life. This is a moment to say what is in our hearts, with tolerance, respect, and restraint, as we were asked to do by Michael Brown’s family.

“The events in Ferguson have laid bare the ongoing racial divide that stretches across the breadth of these United States. Here in King County we have made equity and social justice a central tenet of our work — a value that each employee will consciously and daily pursue as we serve the public. Our task now must be to learn from this moment, and to redouble our efforts to create the long-term, systemic changes our nation needs to fulfill its destiny.”

-So far, we have not heard of any gatherings in West Seattle. We will update as the night goes on.

ADDED 7:18 PM: President Obama is speaking. One quote, tweeted:

7:26 PM: Mayor Murray waited until after the President’s speech to start his event.

The downtown protest march, meantime, has moved east to Capitol Hill.

7:43 PM: Another Times photo tweeted from the Hill:

And a note from the city:

The Seattle Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center closed at 8:45 p.m. The police department continues to provide support for free speech events city-wide.

10:32 PM: Things weren’t quite winding down. Protesters moved on to I-5:

10:37 PM: Police report some violence:

10:52 PM: The freeway has reopened. Protesters are reported to be headed back toward Capitol Hill.

11:51 PM: Still there.

You can of course find endless reporting out there on every scale of what has happened; if you’re looking for a direct link to the transcribed grand-jury proceedings in Missouri, here they are as posted by

40 Replies to "No indictment in Ferguson: Tonight's aftermath in Seattle"

  • West Seattke Hipster November 24, 2014 (7:04 pm)

    Since 2004, St. Louis County police officers have killed people in at least 14 cases. Has the DOJ scrutinized them as much as they did the SPD?

  • justme November 24, 2014 (8:06 pm)

    How is “in self defense” justified with 6 deadly shots on an unarmed victim?
    It is wrong that our police forces are trained to shoot to kill. A better outcome could have been one bullet in the leg to stop him from running away. If he even deserved that.
    I ache for Michael’s family and that entire community.

  • Rcl November 24, 2014 (9:30 pm)

    12 shots is excessive, I wish the officer would have resigned before this decision and apologized to the family for his mistake. :(

  • pizzaburn November 24, 2014 (9:47 pm)

    Read the officer’s testimony (PDF).

    Either he is flat out lying (not impossible I know) or he had reason to react in a very scary situation. No sufficient evidence was presented to change that and we try on facts not hopes.

  • JKB November 24, 2014 (9:51 pm)

    Who among you can judge better than the grand jury? They saw all the evidence, heard the testimony. Did you?

  • dobro November 24, 2014 (10:41 pm)

    They did not see “all the evidence”. They saw the evidence presented by the prosecutor only and witnesses called by the prosecutor only. That’s how a grand jury works. There were many irregularities in how this particular grand jury operated according to many legal experts on the subject. By not allowing a trial in which all the evidence would, in fact, be seen and subject to cross examination by defense lawyers, this grand jury has denied justice. This is a sad day for anyone who actually believes in the rule of law.

  • trick November 24, 2014 (10:45 pm)

    Macklemore part of the group that closed I-5?

    • WSB November 24, 2014 (10:51 pm)

      I’ve seen pictures of him on Twitter but not identifiably on I-5. Not trying to hit the celebrity highlights here, just the outline of what’s happening where. Seemed like it was settling down so I tuned out for a bit and then suddenly, I-5 is blocked.

  • WTF November 24, 2014 (11:12 pm)

    Dobro. Seriously? You honestly think the evidence is blind to the “other side”? The big conspiracy? My god people wake up!
    Do you also think that there is no evidence in the hundreds of people, mostly black, who are destroying their very own community?
    It will solve NOTHING and only feed more and more the minds of those who (hate) them why their (hate) should be validated. Sad and pathetic.

  • Harper Mee November 24, 2014 (11:19 pm)

    “Atticus?” said Jem bleakly.
    He turned in the doorway. “What, son?”
    “How could they do it, how could they?”
    “I don’t know, but they did it. They’ve done it before and they did it tonight and they’ll do it again and when they do it—seems that only children weep. Good night.”

  • Rusty November 24, 2014 (11:23 pm)

    If I robbed a store then assaulted a police officer and tried to get his service pistol, I would expect to be shot too. Maybe not 12 times, but enough to stop me.
    Maybe we should be talking about the officer in that video that told a guy to get his registration, then opened fire when the guy reached into his car. Or maybe why Michael Vick got 4 years in prison while other (white) athletes get off. Maybe a conversation about our court’s giving out harsher sentences to black people than white.
    Maybe we could have a conversation about how our media stoke divisiveness and racial discord rather than doing a tiny bit of research and reporting facts.
    You know, an honest conversation – not an excuse to riot, cause more blood to be spilled, and destroy people’s businesses.

  • run_dmc November 24, 2014 (11:27 pm)

    Dobro: What were the irregularities? I watched the, quite comprehensive, statement from the prosecutor and from what I know of grand jury proceedings his office went overboard in ensuring the grand jury had access to everything his office did. They also worked hand in hand with the DOJ’s office of civil rights and criminal division, which was there almost from the start, in preparing the case for the grand jury . So, I guess if there were “irregularities,” Holder’s DOJ was a party to them as well . . . ?

  • Mike November 24, 2014 (11:32 pm)

    The sad part is a dead young man will be remembered by the looting, destruction of businesses, property and injuries of individuals and forcing those not involved to be punished by ‘protesters’ illegally moving onto I-5, all after his death. Not for what occurred in the events of his death. What a horrible way to bring awareness to a situation that’s preventable. Society as a whole is pathetic. There are those that actually are peacefully protesting, however, there are thousands that are acting out in rage and destroying livelihoods of others just because they want to. Sad.

  • Harper Mee November 24, 2014 (11:43 pm)

    The problem with the riots is not the violence as such, but the fact that the violence is not truly self-assertive. It is impotent rage and despair masked as a display of force; it is envy masked as triumphant carnival.

  • JanS November 25, 2014 (12:31 am)

    Rusty…it’s already been proven that Michael Brown DID NOT rob the convenience store…please stop with the false stories. No one deserves to be shot in something like that.

    Watching the fires and rioting tonight reminded me of another time..April, 1968, when MLK was killed, and violence and fires erupted in Washington, DC. I was trying to get home for Easter break from college in Virginia to PA, and I couldn’t – buses out of DC were not operating. I ended up staying with the deputy sheriff of Arlington County, right next to DC…and we could see the fires, and there were cars of people driving through saying we were next. It was damned scary. And it’s a reminder tonight that things really haven’t changed that much in all these years.

  • Rawrrrrr November 25, 2014 (12:55 am)

    I’ve spent time in the Ferguson neighborhood in the last year and I have a brother that lives there still. What I find most sad is that they did not have much to begin with.
    Every store that was listed as burning or having been looted tonight were the only stores that were open to shop during my last visit. Literally just a handful of shops. What they did have is being destroyed.
    And contrary to an above post… these are not the residents destroying their neighborhood. Their neighborhood and livelihood is being destroyed by neighboring and out of town opportunists. Sad and disgusting.
    Sadly a young man is dead and his death is being used to head a much bigger issue the city is far overdue from confronting as a whole. Racism is a HUGE problem in St. Louis and one of the reasons I left. It is not easy to stomach that much hate. And it comes from every side.
    I believe too that the prosecutor gave a detailed and comprehensible speech this evening. Which makes me scratch my head as to why there are still people in disbelief of the grand jury’s decision and looting “in the name of”. It was such a thorough report.
    And here’s something else I scratch my head about. The pictures released of this young adult man depict him as a much younger child. Emotional manipulation by the media?
    He was a full grown man who was called “BIG MIKE” for one reason. A pretty obvious one.
    I’m not pointing this out to discern right from wrong. I’m pointing it out to show how the media manipulates us and how it impacts our opinions of the event right from the beginning.

    And Seattle.. for f–ks sake… let’s stop disrespecting authority and shouting “F–k you Pigs”. (I heard this on a video released of the demonstration on I-5 tonight) Just like citizens.. there are good guys and bad guys. Pretty simple yeah? Weed out the bad ones with help of the law and stop condemning them as a whole.

    Those men are more often than not there to protect you and they deserve your respect just like everyone else you encounter on a daily basis does. And no less.

    AND a special message to the girl that was yelling it repeatedly… PLEASE spend your time establishing an official “No Call No Interference” list or something and add your name to the top. That way when or if you ever do need their assistance… they’ll be sure not to assist you. hehe

  • Badger Beagle November 25, 2014 (2:27 am)

    Nice Post Rawrrrr – I was in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago. I’m a big hockey fan so I went there for the Colorado (where I grew up)/St. Louis game. I took the train from the airport to my hotel downtown. I had multiple people, not nice people, approach me and ask where I was going. I faked it and said I knew where I was going. I was as scared as I’ve ever been. These people were not interested in where I was going.

    Point being, there is a definite racial divide in this country and this doesn’t help. I believe most Americans don’t see this as a racial issue unless they have some sort of agenda. Murders, unfortunately, happen every day so why is this so important? A white cop shot a black kid. OK. Why not just say a cop killed a person. Is that so hard? Apparently it is. Race will be an issue until we stop focusing on it. We are all people…white, black, brown, yellow, etc…race is only an issue because we make it one.

  • Shaw November 25, 2014 (5:14 am)

    Race is only an issue to White people when we make it one. Race is always an issue to minorities. This ability and longing to forget about race is what a lot of people refer to as “privilege”.

  • OP November 25, 2014 (6:01 am)

    “…it’s already been proven that Michael Brown DID NOT rob the convenience store…please stop with the false stories”

    Normally I don’t address such wild-haired and plain kooky statements but this kind of nonsense is appalling and only contributes to the toxic popular (and now thoroughly discredited and shameful)narrative that’s clouded this case from the start. The evidence does not support the contention that Brown did NOT rob the store. On the contrary, the video evidence and testimony completely refutes it. And robbery, whether it’s done with a gun or not, is still robbery—technically, strong-armed robbery. Your statement is completely and utterly false.

  • MoonDragn November 25, 2014 (6:12 am)

    Racial stereotypes happen a lot in this country. I am Asian and was stopped the other night by a cop cause he claimed I crossed the line on the right side several times.

    Yet my wife was in the car with me and she usually gets bent out of shape if I cross that right side and she didn’t notice me drifting at all.

    The cop seemed to change his story once my wife spoke up and just gave me a warning, but it sounded like it would have been more if she hadn’t been around. My wife is white and very outspoken.

  • Person November 25, 2014 (7:08 am)

    Everyone has racism inside.
    The question is: Will you feed it and make it stronger or will you smack it down when it rears its ugly head?
    I choose to smack that ugly thing down and without fail every time I give in and let the racism take hold… Someone of that race who is a beautiful person crosses my path and proves me wrong. Every time.
    We are all people with fears and dreams that are hard enough to deal with, lets not add another foolish layer of racism over that and let’s beat down racism in ourselves every time it rears its head.
    Thank you,

  • CM November 25, 2014 (7:21 am)

    Shaw, great point.
    From a privileged white guy

  • joel November 25, 2014 (8:44 am)

    rawrrrrr……do you think any of the looters listened to what the PA said? i highly doubt that. maybe when they stole the tv’s they happened to be on CNN before they ripped them off the wall….then burned the store after robbing it dry. they did their Christmas shopping early last night. hopefully federal tax money does not go to rebuild everything they destroyed last night.

  • JoB November 25, 2014 (8:46 am)

    Michael Brown was guilty of being a Black teenager walking down the center of a street accompanied by another black male who was wearing socks with a marijuana pattern and of wearing a black shirt and carrying cigarillos who resented being harassed by a police officer.
    on the basis of this.. Officer Wilson concluded that Michael Brown had robbed a local grocery and therefore was a dangerous person.
    he was shot and killed because he might possibly have been the suspect in a burglary that Officer Wilson wasn’t interested enough in to actually pay attention to the details of the suspect description until a black kid gave him attitude.
    and btw.. that’s from reading Officer Wilson’s testimony

  • Community Member November 25, 2014 (8:47 am)

    Great post by Person.

  • wscommuter November 25, 2014 (8:56 am)

    None of us here know what happened in Ferguson. None of us were in the grand jury room and heard the evidence presented. So, in truth, none of us know whether a just decision was made.

    I am saddened that another young – Black – male was killed at the hands of a white police officer. Whether this shooting was just or not, it is uncontestable that this scenario plays out all too often in our country. Perhaps this particular event was a just shooting – I don’t know. But it is a truth that too often there have been unjustified killings by police officers and other similar abuses and therefore, the African-American community has some basis for their distrust and anger. And I say that as an upper-middle class white guy who worked in law enforcement for several years in my past.

    I am also dearly saddened to see so many people willing to destroy their own neighborhood with rioting and looting – none of which is about Michael Brown; it is just selfish behavior.

    I am filled with disdain for the local narcissistic idiots who pick fights with police here over something that didn’t happen here. Yes – I know – we have had our own recent incidents of bad behavior by SPD – I get it. Those who protested last night peacefully – my salute to you. But this is just moronic, the local stuff, by a few idiots who want to pick a fight with the police.

    And most of all, I am filled with disgust for the Fox News/right wingers who are all but proudly boasting their racism as they routinely toss around code words like “thugs” … who can barely contain the overt sense of fear and hatred that defines who they are.

    It feels like such a nadir for respect for our fellow human beings just now, and just at Thanksgiving … a time when we should find comity and care for each other. I am discouraged.

  • lincolnparkdude November 25, 2014 (9:20 am)

    Jan S.

    He was most certainly involved in the robbery. Was the officer blameless, well, I wasn’t there and obviously no one else of repute was either.

  • Invisible Man November 25, 2014 (9:40 am)

    “I do not know if all cops are poets, but I know that all cops carry guns with triggers.” – Ralph Ellison

  • au November 25, 2014 (10:23 am)

    ‘everyone has racism inside’ speak for yourself please. No i do not hold racism within myself. I am actually baffled by its existence; not whether it exists but that it does exist. Our hearts beat the same, our lungs work the same, we are of the same species so no I do not think one person less than another.

    to deny that i hold racism within me does not deny that it exists. hang out with a “scary” looking black man for awhile and experience that. then come back and say straight faced that racism does not exist. imagine what it must feel like to be looked upon with suspicion almost everywhere you go. To have white women skirt around you out of fear, to have cops look you up and down with disdain when you enter the movie theater. all because you look like what the media has deemed ‘thug’. its heartbreaking and to deny that it doesn’t exist because you haven’t personally seen it is willfully closed minded and ignorant. It doesn’t have to be this way, you could choose to listen and pay attention to more than some white authority type person giving a ‘comprehensive’ report to the media. As if, as if a one sided account of the situation is comprehensive. Did you even notice the ‘evidence’ brought forth was only from the (potentially) accused and his cohorts? And that’s somehow ok because what, they said it is?

  • run_dmc November 25, 2014 (10:31 am)

    Look, I’m black and have lived in cities all over this country. I’ve certainly been pulled over by the cops – sometimes when I deserved it and sometimes when I didn’t. Even when I knew I didn’t, I was calm and rational and the cop was too. It didn’t feel great, and yes there’s fear there (even when I knew I was speeding and got caught so there was every reason to be pulled over), but I also knew if I didn’t escalate, he wouldn’t escalate. I took my warning or ticket and was on my way. AND, when I got mugged once in San Fran; when my house was burgled here in Seattle, I was on the phone with the police ASAP who were professional and reassuring. Because you know what – they serve an absolutely essential purpose in every community – in poor ones just as much as rich ones. THE PROBLEM with policing in communities like Ferguson, as it is with all other essential services in poor communities – education, maintaining roads and street lights, health care, access to credit – ISN’T individual police officers who feel free to mistreat black people. It’s a breakdown or incompetence by political and civic leadership who do not ensure that there is both a tone set by the top that unprofessional or racially discriminatory behavior – in all places, whether the classroom or the squadroom – won’t be tolerated combined with diligent oversight. I grew up in the Midwest and know Missouri well and the East St. Louis community better. Believe me, it has not been run for the past generations by Fox News watching right wingers or the Koch brothers. Nor have places like Chicago or Milwaukee (where I spent many of my formative years) or Detroit where poor communities are understandably restive and enraged; sometimes just beaten down and apathetic. They’ve been run by the very people – Democrats and former civil rights campaigners primarily (white, black and Hispanic) – who have been competing to grab the mike to out “anger” each other over the Ferguson case. However, it is these same people who unfortunately do not know how to lead and manage communities and now grab onto manufactured “racist” incidents in the communities whose problems they were supposed to solve to disguise the fact that they’ve failed as leaders.

  • Eddie November 25, 2014 (10:55 am)

    If the outcome had gone the other way (the grand jury found for an indictment) would the bad behavior (looting, burning, marching on the freeways) have not occured? Or would it have been the same bunch if knuckleheads whooping and hollering as if they’d just won the world series or Stanley cup?

    I think the latter. That bad behavior is way out if line and detracts greatly from whatever legitimate concerns or problems exist.

  • underthebridge November 25, 2014 (11:27 am)

    This no different when a sports team wins a national championship. People will come out strictly to vandalize and destroy property as well..America has been deteriorating for decades and this is a reflection of what is..

  • Seattlite November 25, 2014 (12:06 pm)

    I’m glad there were six or seven brave black Ferguson residents who were willing to tell the facts to the grand jury: “But the grand jurors, including six white men, three white women, two black women and one black man, were told a different story.”
    “Brown has his arms out with attitude,” while “The cop just stood there,” one witness to the shooting that capped the noon-time confrontation testified. “Dang if that kid didn’t start running right at the cop like a football player. Head down.” AP Report

  • G November 25, 2014 (12:10 pm)


    Yep, you’re right. And as a white kid who grew up in the projects, my parents saw enough of the pandering and hypocrisy from the white left trying to take advantage of racial incidents like this. It’s an epidemic that black kids are dying, but only if white racism is involved. Disgusted by it ALL.

  • hot coffee November 25, 2014 (2:13 pm)

    Here is a good perspective on those just trying to squeeze blood out of an unfortunate situation.

    Chief Flynn of Milwaukee talking about violence in his city

  • Actually November 25, 2014 (5:46 pm)

    “…it’s already been proven that Michael Brown DID NOT rob the convenience store…please stop with the false stories”

    Actually, even Dorian Johnson confirmed the robbery in his testimony…

  • Marcman November 25, 2014 (6:58 pm)

    You know why angry protesters target stores and banks? You know why protesters in Seattle and New York shut down major roadways last night? Because white America does not care if a police officer murders a young man in broad daylight, but white America howls with outrage if you interfere with the lifeblood of commerce

  • dobro November 25, 2014 (8:24 pm)

    “Dobro: What were the irregularities?”

    Check with the National Bar Assoc. They could tell you with the proper legalese.

    WASHINGTON, DC – The National Bar Association is questioning how the Grand Jury, considering the evidence before them, could reach the conclusion that Darren Wilson should not be indicted and tried for the shooting death of Michael Brown. National Bar Association President Pamela J. Meanes expresses her sincere disappointment with the outcome of the Grand Jury’s decision but has made it abundantly clear that the National Bar Association stands firm and will be calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to pursue federal charges against officer Darren Wilson. “We will not rest until Michael Brown and his family has justice” states Pamela Meanes, President of the National Bar Association…..

  • Big picture November 25, 2014 (9:40 pm)

    See the bigger political picture. Eric Holder and his specially picked anti-police lawyers have an agenda to prosecute or ‘reform’ police departments across the country – Seattle being one of them. They sweep in, put the cities over a barrel – and start billing tens of millions of dollars for their ‘services’. They are given full 24-hr access to all the data, computer systems and facilities within the city police departments in a quest to do away with local law enforcement (now that we all agree cops are so evil) and create a National Police force (already have a foundation in place Homeland Security). All of this racial division and anti-police sentiment discussed here plays perfectly into their plan of us begging to do away with the ‘evil predominantly white police’ at the LOCAL level so that the Federal government can secure total power of the states and local dept. So keep on discussing it and eventually just do away with the police which is what they want. You think you hate the police now just wait till their plan is finished.

    Stop being SHEEP! The media is controlled and so are we. It’s really time to wake up amd stop being manipulated.

  • WS Since 66 November 27, 2014 (8:01 am)

    Wilson will definitely, and deservedly so, face civil charges. Karma can be a bitch.

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