Ferguson, Mo., Smoldering After Fiery Night of Chaos

Protests flare after no indictment for police officer Darren Wilson.
14:50 | 11/25/14

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Transcript for Ferguson, Mo., Smoldering After Fiery Night of Chaos
It is the day after and Ferguson at a smaller calmer protest on the street this morning. As the community comes to grips with that explosive. Verdict after a tense and firing Knight of chaos reaction to the decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson. Turn to violence buildings set on fire as looting broke out also in spot eight spotted areas of the town the National Guard. Marching and tear gas was fired. On of the crowd so many calls for peace before that decision. Ignored hello everyone I'm Michelle Franzen in New York today. The community of Ferguson described as torn apart ABC producer Scott withers was their overnight and is there now. Where it all broke out in joins us now live hi Scott. Now time. Good morning Michelle it it is a much different Ferguson then we saw just a few hours ago it's it's a ghost town here and it is turnaround to show you why just once. And Missouri state police have flocked. This city down no one gets seated no one gets out residents are being escorted. And that no one's getting in here gonna zoom in or at little bit here and you can see downtown there next to Ferguson and west Lawrence. We're all of the violence that we saw last night the looting the buyers. The clashes with police that's where that I'll take place no when there. But police this morning. And yeah it hard to see you might see some snow apparently Internet in the packed. That is on some of the fires that were started last night and are still kind of smoldering. In Dell who ignored the Ferguson but it is a significantly. Different city here this morning. Another worry if you need him back out there you want to keep that close there were a few protesters out this morning morning downing Clayton. Though those were mostly clergy members who were protesting outside the justice senator. This morning later at about 11 AM central about two hours little less than two dollars. The brown family is expected to cam out and and speak after last night's violence. And of course Scott about a dozen fires in all we are told were set in one and a half square mile radius you also. Were marching with some of the protesters last night when that took a turn on I 44. Give us an idea let's go through that again in what happened. Outlets in the same situation I've got to be honest we were in the shawl a district of downtown Saint Louis this Shaw neighborhood it's about a good fifteen to twenty minutes away from here. And the process started out very peaceful the marchers Judy 300 were marching down grand boulevard. As they had for many many nights the court again very peaceful. But when we got to the intersection of I 44 and ran it sheen's it just a matter of seconds as I was standing there. The protesters ray and down the entrance ramp. And jumped under the expressway growing cones out. Blocking the interstate in both directions it was a very scary situation because that we're actually cars still driving it's quite dark outside. Not well lit in the cars at the slam on their brakes so they didn't hit anybody. And hundreds and hundreds of protesters. Filled the streets and block the interstate for almost an hour and there are several cars or trapped in amongst the protesters and people in those cars. They couldn't get out they were afraid to get out you can't really blame them in the riot police moved in very quickly they blocked off the interstate. And then. The protesters started falling back as the riot police blocked off grand avenue and followed him down. And as I said last night and some are reports that probably wasn't gonna be dead end it wasn't it. After they crowd dispersed from high 44. They moved into another area in grand boulevard. And arsenal its a new area that's being renovated lots of new storefronts opening up it's a lot of new investment going in. Last night the protesters clashed with police there police were using tear gas I was your guests are crew was tear gas it was done. Flying everywhere there was a couple rest broken windows up and down that boulevard. And we know that there was about 61 arrests as of this morning of the latest estimate Scott. How does this compare back in August when this story first broke in police there and Ferguson. Were criticized for overreacting. Well there are you know a lot of people are a lot of politicians are saying dead the police did not overreact last night that the violence was he did was much more than it was back in August. I can tell you very significant difference in police presence this morning just about. The football field two football fields away for me is where the the Missouri State. A National Guard is is amassing be Heidi target stores that's where there are Central Command is in there are hundreds of them there. Now when I was driving through downtown Saint Louis last night after we left the protests. There are. Humvees parked all throughout town outside of city buildings protecting those buildings and that's again the the state National Guard were protecting those buildings still. An aggregate ST a much different situation here tonight. I can tell you when we are with protesters last night they had it they told us unofficially. That this was going to go on for days and they were not stopping after last night they are planning more protests today. And throughout the week. And we know that of course there is questions and criticism. Of whether or not that he law enforcement and prosecutors should've. Gone into the night and waited to make that announcement that the indictment was not going to happen against Darren Wilson. What are we hearing today is there any book going to be any shift in tactical. Strategies for law enforcement National Guard. They're not. Saying what they're going to be doing differently but they are saying they're going to be doing things differently this morning the Saint Louis mayor. All the press conference down in that area in the Shia area where it was that. And he was saying basically to be different tonight and and and I believe him. The last night I don't think they expected the broken windows in that area I don't think they expected that police confrontation. As bad as it was so I think tonight they're going to block things off much quicker. I will say there is a lot of questioning in his community now about why this week down last night. Why the announcement was made last night. No it years really answering that question even last yesterday during the press conference the governor wouldn't answer that question he said well that's did the prosecutor's decision. A lot of people are saying maybe some of the violence we saw last night could have dead averted. If it what did that so light and I've got to tell you when we were out in the streets last night he got a little hairy. Our crew was safe bet. Completely safe but it ties to got a little it's scary we kept falling back. We kept asking people talking to residents and they also didn't understand why they had to make the decision at night. Who wins during the day in my giving easier to control the situation. Scott we're looking at some of the video from last night some of the fires that were burning we see. That's firefighters did make it to some of those buildings but in many times they were not able to make it out to that situation. We see that your act that so called checkpoint area where the rest of the town is on. Basically locked down do we know of any businesses are reopening today error they shattered. And just waiting this out. I die I highly doubt anything down behind me is opening today I can tell you why a lot of those buildings. Were looted a lot of them burned out or burned down they're gone there's nothing to reopening. And it is highly likely would the police press and likely tease me with the police presence here we just as you can see just beat behind me the Missouri state police no one is getting down in that area tonight know what is getting into that area. This afternoon in this in this part is look Ferguson is locked down in its not gonna change anytime soon. All right ABC producer Scott withers reporting from Ferguson thank you very much. And now we want to bring in legal analyst Danny Somalis for more on this story Danny you have read the grand jury transcripts by now all that information that was released publicly what was the relationship like between the prosecutor. And officer Wilson. Well this is a rare glimpse into the grand jury process and people reading the transcript will be struck right away. By the fact that this is nothing like the adversarial trial process there's no defense attorney. And the it's a very casual conversation but when you read between the lines. Look at and read the questions. Posed to officer Wilson by the prosecutor and you can see I think critics will probably say. That the prosecutor was leaving him along trying to get you answers that would help officer Wilson adds that's what we may see people saying. On the other hand what are you an example real quick maybe a couple yet. Wind just now four she asks him I was reading that she asked Sulzer Wilson. What weight were you shooting at him while he was fleeing and that's it a critical question is it may be officer Wilson didn't cover that an officer Wilson answers right away. No no I was not and that's legally significant and it seems to me. That you one could argue that the prosecutors trying to get out that evidence that is favorable to officer Wilson but of course you could equally say the prosecutions just trying to get. All the evidence before the grand jury but when you read that transcript. There are certain questions that jump out that it is again a critic might say well the prosecutors asking these questions. This sort of ring it is so Darren Wilson hits all the bullet points of legal justification. For use of deadly force so I think that's something that jumps out right away I when I say relationship. And there's no in fact they may even say in the transcript they don't know each other the prosecutor in the officer don't know each other before hand. But I think people reading the transcript will notice. That the questioning is anything but adversarial. It say it's a much more casual almost conversational. Event and the prosecution appears to be asking questions. To remind Darren Wilson to bring up all the important points in the jury has all the information about whether or not this was a crime or a justified killing. And Danny were also learning hearing officer Wilson in his own words be on the questions. His own account of what happened. In that account that incidents tell us what that what struck you about his testimony. Well it's no surprise police officers are excellent courtroom test the fires they do it as a big part of their job. And one of the things that jumped out at me is that officer Wilson was very prepared for his testimony. And look no further than where he describes. What must've been real time only taken two or three seconds but also Wilson walks us through. Very meticulously. His thought process. In escalating force and by that I mean he says in the transcript. I first thought about my pepper spray but I I realize that my peppers Graham had to close a range. And the pepper spray would have would have been mobilized me as well as the us suspect. That I thought of why ASP which is his that expendable but time. That was under my body that I thought about this than I thought about this and only then did I settle upon. My firearm and of course I'm paraphrasing. But I think that shows some really good preparation by the officer. Because he knew is gonna act explained what grand jury his thought process why. We attacked with fists did he immediately go to his firearm and what he does instead is walked the jury through his thought process. And begin to explain to the grand jury why. His choice was to draw his firearm and begin to use deadly force and that. That is a recurring theme throughout his testimony and is wrong. With his testimony Janet we also see that there is also physical evidence that was presented and and and photographs. In. What. Darren Wilson described his injuries to his cheat. Definitely week and everyone was talking about this early on is that. Early on the very disparate narratives emerge there was say Dorian Johnson's narrative which look nothing like the narrative of other witnesses which was different from even other witnesses and and I think we all knew that. Once forensic evidence began to emerge. Gunshot residue. Where shell casings were found blood all this forensic evidence that this would line up. With one narrative and exclude some of the other narratives and I think that's exactly what happened now. Your critics could say that Darren Wilson knew about this forensic evidence and could Taylor's testimony. But one where another his story the grand jury concluded. Must it coincided with the forensic evidence which again the bullets and blood and things cannot lie they are objective evidence. And jobs are Wilson's testimony I think degree injury was convinced along with some other witnesses we're told. And and that there were some sort of close altercation. Right exactly it while not just an altercation. But something that rose to the level where officer Wilson believed his use of deadly force was justified and not only that officer Wilson had to explain. If Michael Brown fled. Why. What his reasoning was for chasing him and I think that was another important part of the transcript. Real quickly we've got the browns coming up shortly with the press conference what do we expect to hear from them. White think we're gonna hear. That they are not done a proceed pursuing legal action. That they will we if they I think tactically. If I'm Ben Crump what you do as you wait for the federal government to complete their investigation because. They may do something here as we say discovery for you they may do some investigation. For you that you can use later on in the civil case. And then once that part is concluded that I think the browns will pursue a civil action against officer municipality. County. Anyone that they feel has some liability for Michael Brown's death. Denny Somalis thank you so much for joining us thank you. And of course you can keep up with this developing story in real time by downloading the ABC news app. And starring the story for those exclusive updates on the go for now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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