“IT IS not as bad as they say,” insisted Kelly. At the Marley’s Bar & Grill, a place she runs with her husband Martin on South Florissant Road in Ferguson, Missouri, Kelly was quick to claim that media reports had overstated the problems of unrest in her hometown. Moments later Robert McCulloch, St Louis County’s prosecuting attorney, announced that a grand jury had decided not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, who fatally shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in Ferguson last August. A crowd of people could be seen gathering in anticipation at the police station a few blocks away. Most of the bars and shops on South Florissant Road were boarded up in anticipation of protests and looting; Kelly and Martin defiantly stayed open. But as the evening wore on, and as peaceful protests descended into violent outbursts, it became all too plain that Kelly’s optimism was misplaced. The strife in Ferguson was indeed very bad.
The jury’s verdict was not a surprise. Missouri’s governor, Jay Nixon, had declared a state of emergency earlier this week, and several armoured vehicles could be seen driving...Continue reading