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Ferguson protesters disrupt Black Friday shopping

(Agencies) Updated: 2014-11-29 15:36

Ferguson protesters disrupt Black Friday shopping

Protesters stage a "die in" inside Chesterfield Mall, Friday, Nov 28, 2014, in Chesterfield. The crowd disrupted holiday shopping at several locations on Friday amid a protest triggered by a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. [Photo/IC]

FERGUSON - Demonstrators temporarily shut down three large shopping malls in Missouri on a busy shopping day as rallies were held nationwide to protest a grand jury's recent decision not to indict the white police officer who fatally shot unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Several stores lowered their security doors or locked entrances as at least 200 protesters sprawled onto the floor while chanting, "Stop shopping and join the movement" at the Galleria mall just south of Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where Brown was killed.

The protest prompted authorities to close the mall for about an hour Friday afternoon, while a similar protest of about 50 people had the same effect at nearby West County Mall. It didn't appear that any arrests were made. Later Friday, the appearance of several dozen demonstrators led to the early closing of the Chesterfield Mall.

The protest was among the largest on Friday, which also saw a large rally in Chicago and smaller ones in California and other cities.

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season in the U.S. with retailers offering big discounts. Protesters were using the occasion to keep the attention focused on Brown's death, which has stoked debates nationwide about the tensions between black communities and police.

The grand jury decision, announced Monday, means that officer Darren Wilson will not face state charges in Brown's Aug. 9 shooting death.

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