Demonstrations continued on Black Friday in Ferguson, Missouri, temporarily shutting down three large malls in the St. Louis suburb on one of the busiest shopping days of the year, forcing police to arrest 15 protesters, authorities reportedly said. Protests also spread to parts of San Francisco, Seattle and Los Angeles on Friday.
About 100 protesters marched down West Florissant Avenue in front of the city's police and fire departments shouting and blocking traffic late Friday night. Hundreds of protesters took to the streets, forcing several stores to close down while some locked their entrances as people shouted, “Stop shopping and join the movement.” At least 200 protesters gathered outside a mall in Richmond Heights, few miles south of Ferguson. Nearly 50 people also protested outside another mall in nearby Des Peres. Police reportedly issued warning to the protesters that they would be subject to arrest if they did not leave the street.
Some of those arrested will face charges including disturbing the peace and obstructing traffic, while two people are to be charged with resisting arrest and one with assault, Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike O'Connell said, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, in San Francisco demonstrations escalated Friday evening as hundreds of protesters vandalized several businesses. One officer was also reportedly injured after a protester threw bottle at a police vehicle.
In Seattle, angry protesters disrupted a tree-lighting ceremony and forced the closure of several stores. Police later said that at least five people were arrested during the protests. In Los Angeles, police reportedly arrested 8 people after protesters caused unrest in the city’s Westlake District.
Ferguson and several other cities across the United States saw violent protests since a grand jury’s decided not to indict officer Darren Wilson over the shooting death of Michael Brown. Protests have also been seen in Canada and the U.K. Protests on Thanksgiving day across the nation were mostly peaceful, but tensions escalated Friday.