Ferguson Protesters Take Aim at Black Friday Shopping

Protesters taking aim at Black Friday continued to rally into the night across the country in the wake of a grand jury's decision to not indict the police officer who killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

In the St. Louis area, county police arrested 15 protesters early Saturday, with one demonstrator charged with assault on a police officer, according to the police department's Twitter account.

A mall in St. Louis was closed briefly as dozens of protesters moved store to store staging "die-ins," where they lie down on the floor like corpses, according to NBC affiliate KSDK. Thursday night also brought "stand up, don't shop" rallies at big box stores across St. Louis County.

Demonstrations in San Francisco's Union Square turned violent Friday evening, with hundreds of protesters marching on Market Street. One police officer was hospitalized with cuts to the face after a protester threw a bottle at a police car, police said. Another officer was struck by a brick in the chest, according to police.

In New York, more than 150 people rallied outside Macy's in Herald Square on Black Friday, eventually making their way to Times Square. At least two people were arrested for blocking the sidewalk. A protester told NBC New York that the point of the demonstrations was to diminish Black Friday profits to make the government notice.

Los Angeles police said they arrested eight protesters Friday night. Police began detaining people who were running into traffic despite orders to stay on the sidewalk. A group of 50 to 100 protesters marched in the Westlake District where police blocked the intersection near the 101 Freeway as crowds chanted "Let us go."

In West Oakland, California, about 20 protesters chained themselves to each other and a train and shut down the Bay Area Rapid Transit or BART. One participant told said the group planned to stay on the tracks for four hours to symbolize the amount of time Brown's body was in the street after he was killed.

About 100 people in Chicago said they said they would remain outside the stores on Friday but would urge people not to shop.

Meanwhile at the Wal-Mart store in Washington, D.C., Ferguson protesters joined a few hundred living wage activists at a rally. The gathering was peaceful and included a four-a-half-minute moment of silence to remember Brown. The Black Friday living wage protest was organized by unions as one of several against the company.

Although there were a handful of signs reading, "Black Lives Matter," the majority of protesters focused their message on wages and hours. Activists say that D.C. Walmart employees do not earn enough to support their families in an increasingly expensive city and want to see wages increased to $15 an hour.

A similar protest took place outside a Wal-Mart in North Bergen, New Jersey. The union-backed group Our Walmart says demonstrations were planned at 1,600 Wal-Mart stores around the country.

An entirely different sort of protest took place on in Beverly Hills as animal rights activists targetted Rodeo Drive over fur sales.

Inside stores, as Black Friday kicked off earlier than ever this year, steps were taken to keep crowds under control. But in some places, Black Friday turned violent.

Kimberly States, who was shopping with her 11-year-old daughter at the Westfield Fox Valley mall in Aurora, Illinois, told The Associated Press it was markedly more quiet around 6:30 a.m. Friday than it was the night before, when she made her first trip to the mall to pick up some holiday deals.

"It was a zoo last night around 10 p.m.," States said. "Now it seems like more of the old folks."

Some fights did break out -- at a Kohl's in Tustin, California, near Los Angeles, for example, where two women attacked two other women in the baby department. One of those attacked was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons; her condition was not known.

Tustin police said two arrests had been made.

An argument with shoving was also reported at a Walmart in Norwalk, California. Police officers responded but no arrests were made, and it was unclear what the dispute was about.

In New York, a 4-year-old boy and his 11-year-old handicapped sister were left alone in a hotel while their parents were at an outlet mall on Black Friday, police said. The father has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

And in Chicago, Black Friday turned violent at a Nordstrom's department store, where one man was killed and a woman injured in a double shooting.

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