Minutes after St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch finished his bizarre press conference, detailing a grand jury's decision not to indict the officer who killed an unarmed teenager in August, President Barack Obama gave a short speech. As many watched on cable news split screens, the contrast between the White House briefing room and the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, was utterly surreal:
— Warren Kinsella (@kinsellawarren) November 25, 2014
As the president says the country has made "enormous progress in race relations," protesters in Ferguson are shown facing off with police tanks amid flashing lights. Obama spoke of preventing crime while a group of protesters attempted to overturn a police car. And while he encouraged a focus on improving race relations, not just preventing violence, tear gas containers are seen shooting through the street.
Violence in Ferguson lasted hours into the night in response to the grand jury's decision. Protesters set fires and looted local businesses, resulting in over 80 arrests, mostly for burglary and trespassing. Around the nation, thousands more took to the streets to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson.
No indictment for St. Louis County police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, means Wilson will not face state charges. He may still, however, face other consequences through a Department of Justice investigation.