A Missouri man has been charged with setting one of the fires that devastated Ferguson businesses during demonstrations over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a local police officer in the slaying of Michael Brown last summer. Antonio Whiteside, 26, was indicted Wednesday, charged with the arson of the Ferguson Market, a representative of the U.S. attorney’s office in St. Louis told CNN.
Federal prosecutors alleged Whiteside was seen in surveillance camera footage attired in a camouflage jacket and using an accelerant to light the market on fire in November. Police arrested Whiteside in January, CNN reported.
More than two dozen buildings -- including the Ferguson Market -- were set ablaze in the St. Louis suburb after a grand jury decided not to indict Darren Wilson, a white police officer, who shot and killed Brown, a black teenager, last August. The market has continued to operate despite suffering damage, CNN said.
Investigators have been working to find those responsible for the fires and riots in Ferguson that punctuated peaceful protests and destroyed businesses in November. Twenty-six fires were lit after the grand jury’s controversial decision, according to the Wall Street Journal.
“People may think they’re going to get away with this because there were so many people in the crowd,” Ferguson Mayor James Knowles reportedly said last week. “Slowly but surely, they’re being prosecuted.”
Brown allegedly stole two handfuls of cigarillos at the Ferguson Market, just minutes before being fatally shot in August. Wilson resigned from the Ferguson Police Department in November.