NAACP Marchers to Trek 120 Miles From Ferguson to Mo. State Capital

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The Root

NAACP Marchers to Trek 120 Miles From Ferguson to Mo. State Capital

The seven-day march, which is to begin at 12 p.m. Central time Saturday, is an effort to draw attention to problems in the nation’s criminal justice system.

National Guard troops stand outside the police department in Ferguson, Mo., after violent protests engulfed the area Nov. 25, 2014, when a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of teenager Michael Brown.   (Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

To call attention to what it sees as a flawed U.S. criminal justice system after a grand jury declined to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown, 18, the NAACP on Saturday is to begin a 120-mile, seven-day protest march from Ferguson, Mo., to the governor’s mansion in Jefferson City.

The march is to begin at 12 p.m. Central at the Canfield Green Apartments in Ferguson, near where Brown was shot and his body left lying in the street for hours on Aug. 9, the NAACP said in a statement. The purpose of the march is to call for new leadership of the Ferguson Police Department, beginning with the police chief, and for reforms of police practice and culture in Ferguson and across the country, the release states.

"Our ‘Journey for Justice: Ferguson to Jefferson City’ march is the first of many demonstrations to show both the country and the world that the NAACP and our allies will not stand down until systemic change, accountability and justice in cases of police misconduct are served for Michael Brown and the countless other men and women who lost their lives to such police misconduct,” Cornell William Brooks, NAACP president and CEO, said in the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael Brown’s family."

Meanwhile, protests over Monday’s announcement that the grand jury had declined to indict Wilson continued across the country, but especially in the Ferguson area, wheredemonstrators temporarily shut down three large malls in suburban St. Louis on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and then marched in front of the Ferguson Police Department in protest of the grand jury's decision, the Associated Press reports.

About 15 people were arrested, according to Missouri Department of Public Safety spokesman Mike O’Connell, the news agency reports. He said that charges would include disturbing the peace and impeding the flow of traffic, and that two people also would be charged with resisting arrest and one with assault, the report says.

Lynette Holloway

Lynette Holloway is a contributing editor at The Root. The Chicago-based writer is a former New York Times reporter and associate editor for Ebony magazine.

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