This morning, the I-5 freeway in San Diego, California came to a complete stop near La Jolla after protesters blocked all lanes of traffic just before 7a.m. The line of gridlocked cars quickly reached several miles south all the way to downtown San Diego.
The protest on the I-5 is one of many being organized across the country. The first altercations began shortly after Prosecution in the case against a white officer who shot and killed a black man stated that the officer would not be indicted.
Initial protests ignited in Ferguson, Missouri shortly after news of the non-indictment was released. Protests began on the streets of the locality, and quickly spread to New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Oakland.
While President Barack Obama asked for protesters to keep calm and not engage in violence, outside more than 300 protesters demanded justice outside the White House. Police in the capital were on high alert and implemented special protocols out of fear of wide-spread violence.
Shortly after the announcement, Obama held an unannounced press conference requesting peace. Meanwhile, the first protests in Ferguson were getting started, resulting in cars and buildings being put on fire, raids, gunshot, and confrontations with the police resulting in the use of tear gas.
The indignation after learning that Wilson would not face prison, or charges, as a result of a jury decided that sufficient proof to indict the officer for firing multiple shots against Michael Brown did not exist. The jurors heard from 60 different witnesses, often times with conflicting testimony coming from the same witness. Michael Brown was unarmed at the time, but the officer states that he didn't think there was another option at the time but to kill him.
While the local case has now been officially closed with this decision, an independent federal investigation into the case concerning matters relating civil rights is still ongoing.
Had he been indicted, Wilson could have faced up to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter at a minimum, or up to life in prison or a death season for first degree murder.
Michael Brown's family held a moment of silence after the decision was made, and asked protesters to avoid engaging in acts of violence: "responding to violence with violence is not the answer", said an official release from the family.
Ferguson is in a state of high alert, with the FBI and National Guard on standby to intervene should protests get out of hand.
The grand jury has been reviewing evidence and testimony since May, comprised of nine white jurors and three black jurors, of which five are women and seven are men.