After nearly a week of walking, protesters who began a 130-mile journey from the site of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson are expected to arrive at the Missouri state capital around noon Friday, the Associated Press reported. The march, organized by the NAACP, was being held to call attention to what was viewed as injustice when a grand jury decided last week not to indict the white police officer who killed the unarmed black teen in August.
The march, dubbed the “Journey for Justice,” started on Saturday, the same day that ex-Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson resigned from his post and shortly after Wilson wasn't indicted by a St. Louis County grand jury in Brown’s death. The death sparked protests in and around Ferguson, and early demonstrations led to the burning of a convenience store and looting of neighborhood businesses. Similar looting and burning of cars ensued after the grand jury announcement.
Along the way, the roughly 50 protesters encountered a racist group in the rural town of Rosebud, Missouri, where fried chicken, watermelon and a 40-ounce bottle of beer was placed in the middle of the street, the Columbia Missourian reported. A window was also shot out of one of the buses used on the march, according to the newspaper. One of the counter-protesters held a sign that said, “Go home.”
Since the march began, another case involving an unarmed black man who died under questionable police circumstances provoked outrage. A grand jury in Staten Island, New York, chose not to indict a white police officer in the chokehold death of Eric Garner. The decision, handed down Wednesday, fueled protests in New York City and beyond.
The protesters from Ferguson were expected to reach the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City around noon Friday, according to the AP. The state’s Democratic governor, Jay Nixon, came under fire over his handling of the Ferguson incident, including sending in the National Guard to the St. Louis area before the grand jury announcement was made public. Nixon declared a state of emergency that activated the guard.