More unrest in Ferguson following jury's ruling
THE United States town of Ferguson erupted in violence as protesters shot at police and set cars and buildings ablaze on Monday night, after a grand jury chose not to indict a white police officer who had killed an unarmed black teenager.
In the latest case to trigger debate on forceful police tactics against minorities and race relations in the US, hopes and appeals - including from President Barack Obama - for a peaceful reaction to the decision evaporated quickly.
Groups of youth roamed the streets, looting stores and spreading mayhem, as flames lit up the night sky in this town in St Louis, Missouri.
Riot police officers responded to protesters with tear gas, batons and flash grenades, and running battles broke out, with armoured cars moving slowly through the area.
At least 12 buildings and two police cars were set on fire and destroyed. No one was killed or seriously hurt, and the police did not open fire at any point, said St Louis County police chief Jon Belmar.
Twenty-nine demonstrators were arrested.
The grand jury concluded that officer Darren Wilson, who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown 12 times, had acted in legitimate self-defence after they got into an "altercation" as the officer investigated a robbery at a store, said St Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch.
A separate federal civil-rights investigation into the Wilson incident and Ferguson policing in general will continue, said US Attorney-General Eric Holder.
After the violence broke out in Ferguson, protests quickly spread to major US cities - including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington - but there were no reports of violence.
In Ferguson, a mainly black town with a mainly white police force, officers were stunned by a spasm of fury right after the hotly awaited verdict. It came after three months of deliberations by the grand jury following Mr Brown's death in August.
A highway patrol officer told him that his men felt like "we were in a death funnel", Mr Belmar added.
As the unrest continued into the night, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called in additional National Guard forces to help restore order.
Mr Brown's death had sparked weeks of sometimes violent protests. But Monday's episode was worse, Mr Belmar said.
In a statement, the Brown family said: "We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions."