Protests already happening:
Activists, with support from some of the city’s black clergy, had pledged disruptive protests ahead of Wilson’s verdict.
Wilson addressed such statements in his order: “A judge shall not be swayed by partisan interests, public clamor or fear of criticism.”
Immediately after the verdict was issued, protesters gathered downtown near Tucker Boulevard and Market Street. They blocked a ramp to Interstate 64 off Clark Street, but were blocked by police from entering the highway. Protesters then headed to police headquarters.
As the protests grew, Wells Fargo and Nestle Purina PetCare sent their nearly 7,000 employees home for the day.
Ahead of the verdict — and the threat of violent protests — Gov. Eric Greitens took steps to activate the National Guard. Police officers in St. Louis and St. Louis County were put on 12-hour shifts, and several St. Louis schools called off classes for Friday. Barricades went up around downtown courthouses and the police station, and some downtown businesses boarded up their windows.