Ferguson marchers arrive at Missouri Capitol
JEFFERSON CITY, Missouri (AP) — Chants of “Hands Up. Don’t Shoot!” echoed through the Missouri Capitol on Friday as hundreds of people protesting Michael Brown’s death rallied after a weeklong, 130-mile (209-kilometer) march from the site of the police shooting in Ferguson.
The demonstrators were joined at the Capitol by Brown’s mother, who denounced the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 death of her son. She called upon Gov. Jay Nixon to hold the local prosecutor accountable for not taking the case to trial.
The rally was held within earshot of Nixon’s office, but he wasn’t there. Nixon, met with organizers of the march two days ago.
The shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old who had physically struggled with the white officer has prompted rioting and repeated clashes between protesters and police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. It’s also sparked demonstrations around the nation from people who believe that minorities are too often the targets of police.
The chant about raised hands has become symbolic of the movement, although there was conflicting witness testimony about whether Brown actually had his hands raised in surrender — or was charging at the officer — when he was fatally shot.
The trek began Saturday and remained peaceful, though at times tense.
Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, thanked the marchers and said the legal process had “play out unfairly and nontransparent.”
“I want him to be held accountable for what he did,” McSpadden said, referring to Wilson.