The morning after a St. Louis County grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, the country awoke Tuesday to learn that about two dozen buildings had burned in Ferguson, Mo., during a chaotic night.
The shooting of Brown, who was black and unarmed, by a white police officer on Aug. 9 led to days of protests. Brown’s death has raised once again old questions about the relationship between law enforcement and the black community in urban and suburban communities, revealing just how differently whites and blacks see life in the United States.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) declared a state of emergency in Ferguson several days ago, as businesses, schools and residents braced for potentially violent protests, like those that followed the shooting.
Some of the questions that Brown’s death has raised simply don’t have answers, but here are a few things you might be wondering if you’re just getting caught up on what’s happening in Ferguson.

What did the grand jury decide?
After reviewing the evidence, the grand jury “determined that no probable cause exists to file any charge against Officer Wilson,” prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch said. “They are the only people who have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence.”
The grand jury — composed of 12 ordinary citizens, three of whom are black — had been reviewing conflicting information from several witnesses and three autopsy reports.
Although there was no question that Wilson killed Brown, McCulloch said, a key question was whether Wilson was authorized to use deadly force to defend himself.

What happened overnight in Ferguson?
At this point, it looks like two dozen buildings in Ferguson and a couple of police vehicles burned overnight.
But looting appears to be minimal, The Post reports, and police have said they know of no injuries except for one person whose car was hijacked.
A demonstrator sits in front of a street fire during a demonstration in Oakland, Calif., following the grand jury decision in the shooting of Michael Brown. (Stephen Lam/Reuters)
Protest leaders and police officers had been meeting regularly to plan the demonstrations so that both sides would know when to draw the line. Business and law enforcement officials warned that the protests that would inevitably follow a decision not to indict could become violent. Demonstrators are worried that police will respond disproportionately, and they stocked up on items such as shatter-proof goggles to protect themselves from tear gas.

What’s driving the protest movement in Ferguson?
They’re angry that Brown is dead, to be sure, but plenty of other problems in the suburbs of St. Louis are probably contributing to the tensions there.
About two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black, and the poverty rate is 22 percent, according to the census. In this regard, it isn’t unlike many other poor, suburban communities around the country where most residents are people of color. Places such as Ferguson were forged by decades of government policies and unofficial industry practices that limited black residents to certain areas of major cities.
Ferguson police are about three times as likely to arrest blacks as whites, a disparity that is typical for many police departments, according to an analysis by USA Today.

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该日志由 1zanxin 于2014年11月28日发表在 双语阅读 分类下,
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