Demonstrators calling for the arrest of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August, are anticipating that the officer will not be charged. Many of them are predicting widespread protests if the grand jury reviewing the case decides to acquit Wilson.
A crowd of around 100 gathered Monday along South Florissant Road, with many calling for the arrest of Wilson, who killed Brown in this St. Louis suburb on Aug. 9. Two demonstrators, one of whom was a state senator, were taken into custody outside the Ferguson Police Department after they blocked the street and refused to move.
Wilson’s case is under review by a St. Louis County grand jury, which has until January 2015 to decide whether or not to indict Wilson. The jury is receiving evidence about the case on the same schedule as the police, who are investigating separately.
As the protests, which began shortly after Brown’s death, stretch into the fall, the crowds have thinned, the national media presence has faded, and hot cocoa and tea have replaced the bottles of ice-cold water that were seen during the early days of the demonstrations. Gone, too, are the military-style police vehicles that were widely seen as an over-the-top reaction to many of the protests; the vehicles have been replaced by police officers wearing normal uniforms.
On Monday, however, in the parking lot across from the police station, protesters recited chants such as “Mike Brown means … We got to fight back!” Many of the demonstrators, as well as officials in Ferguson, are preparing for news about Wilson’s fate that could reignite massive demonstrations in the town.