Joe Darmin, 19, who is white, stopped in Ferguson on Tuesday night while driving from California to his home in Dayton, Ohio, for Thanksgiving. "I'm here in the flesh. I want to see it with my own eyes," he said. "Cops are supposed to be out here for the people. They're obviously not. So I feel like we need to be out here to watch them."
On Tuesday, Ferguson resident Allyshia Frazier, 21, said she thought some of the violence might have been necessary to bring attention to what she sees as the lack of justice for Brown. “If you don’t make no noise, nobody hears you,” she said. “We were peaceful, and they didn’t hear us. Now they do.”
Frazier, a certified nursing assistant, joined the protest after a 13-hour shift. She said that while she thought many of the businesses that were burned or looted would have insurance to help them rebuild, Brown's family will never recover their loss.
"I'm out here to support Mike Brown," she said. "I am out here to support my people, black people — but also white people who support Mike Brown."
She thinks the protests could continue for months, but another Ferguson resident, Tempestt Williams, 25, who is black, said the effort might mean little. "I don't think anything will come," she said. "I just see more the fighting with [police]. I just see more destruction."
Protests have been a daily routine since Brown was killed on Aug 9. In the weeks after his death, protests sometimes turned violent as businesses were looted and a QuikTrip convenience store was burned. Police, rolling in armored vehicles, used tear gas, flash-bang grenades and rubber bullets on demonstrators, bringing attention to the militarization of local law enforcement.
On Tuesday night Ashley Sullivan, 20, who is black, said she was demonstrating because she was distraught and angry over Brown's killing and the decision not to indict Wilson.
Coughing, with her eyes watering from tear gas, she said she went to Ferguson from Belleville, Illinois, which is about a 30 minute drive from Ferguson and part of the St. Louis metropolitan area, to join the protest.
“It’s not necessarily about this boy getting shot," she said. "You got to worry about your brothers, fathers and boyfriends.”
Her friend Delisa Allen, 21, who is also black, chimed in, saying, “I’m not trying to make this a race issue, but when my country makes my race an issue, it becomes one.”