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Updated 8:44 AM EDT, Wed, Aug 18, 2021

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Tensions Mount as Ferguson Verdict Nears

Ferguson Protests

(Photo : Reuters) Demonstrators march to protest the shooting to death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ahead of the grand jury decision expected as early as this weekend, groups that believe Ferguson shooting victim Michael Brown was unjustly killed because he was black are planning to close Clayton.

The plan is to hold protests if the jury, which heard testimonies for almost three months, would not recommend the filing of charges against white police Officer Darren Wilson who allegedly fired the fatal shot.

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The protesters plan to gather in public areas, spread in smaller groups and close roads as part of a broader civil disobedience campaign to negatively affect the coffers of the city that lies on the boundary of St. Louis, reports Fox News.

But Michael McPherson, the co-chair of the Don't Shoot Coalition, assured that the protesters' action would be non-violent but direct, such as talking to the public and making known their sentiments.

Anthony Gray, lawyer of the Brown family, said the grand jury appears to have heard the last witness - a private pathologist hired by the victim's family.


There are no indicators how the grand jury would decide given the conflicting testimonies. Some witnesses said that Brown was running away and attempting to surrender when Wilson fired at him, but others stated that the black youth confronted the officer and tried to seize his weapon.

Brown took six bullets, two in his head, according to the autopsy report. Reuters, which cited leaks of the report, said that evidence suggested Brown's hand was near Wilson's weapon when the officer fired his gun. But for Benjamin Crump, another Brown lawyer, it could also indicate that the youth was trying to surrender since Brown's hands were up.

The grand jury has 12 members, nine are white and three are black.

Meanwhile, the Ferguson shootout had its first collateral victim. She is Duncanville High School teacher Vinita Hegwood who was fired on Friday morning by the trustees of the Duncanville Independent School District because of a racially charged comment she made on her personal Twitter account about the Ferguson shooting.

Hegwood, an English teacher for 20 years, explained to the trustees that she was just reacting to several "threatening and racists attacks" toward her. She said that her tweet didn't reflect the high standards she set for herself and her students, Hegwood took full responsibility for her action and also apologized to the school district for embarrassing it with the tweet.

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