“They determined no probable cause exists to file any charges against Officer Wilson,” McCulloch announced.
The August 9 shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown, by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, has sparked riots and racial unrest in Ferguson for months.
“Shocking, shocking,” exclaimed one student. Another VCU student countered, “I’m not surprised, at the same time this keeps happening and happening and happening.”
Other students say they didn’t feel comfortable forming an opinion without knowing all the evidence presented to the grand jury.
By 11 p.m., dozens of students gathered in front of VCU’s library at Schafer Court. They peacefully carried signs and rallied chants before moving to West Broad Street.
The peaceful rally was a stark contrast to the massive riots and looting that broke out in Ferguson.
Several Richmond-area students said earlier in the evening that they feared the violence would be a natural reaction.
“Unfortunately, there’s going to be a lot of people who aren’t involved in this case, they’re going to get hurt and have property damaged,” said a Randolph Macon student.
In Alphine Jefferson’s history class, several students passionately discussed the case with their professor Monday night. Jefferson is also the Director for Race Relations at RMC.
“Race is one conversation America has not had,” Jefferson told his class.
Jefferson says despite the controversial nature of the shooting, the case has generated some healthy debate among Americans.
“In some ways, it’s created a community,” Jefferson says. “Whether you’re for or against, people are sharing ideas with people with whom they would never have conversations.”
In the wake of the August shooting, several campuses held peaceful protests. Some students say they plan on publically voicing their concerns once again.
“They’ll be a lot of activism behind it,” said one student. “I’ll definitely be there for it.”