JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Chants of "Hands Up. Don't Shoot!" echoed through the Missouri Capitol on Friday as hundreds of people protesting Michael Brown's death rallied after the culmination of a weeklong, 130-mile march from the site of the police shooting in Ferguson.
The demonstrators were joined at the Capitol by Brown's mother, who denounced the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 death of her son. She called upon Gov. Jay Nixon to hold the local prosecutor accountable for not taking the case to trial.
The rally was held within earshot of Nixon's office, but he wasn't there. Nixon, who had met with NAACP organizers of the march two days earlier, traveled Friday to an economic development luncheon in Kansas City and a state university in Joplin.
The shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old who had physically struggled with the white officer has prompted rioting and repeated clashes between protesters and police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. It's also sparked demonstrations around the nation from people who believe that minorities are too often the targets of overzealous police.
Speaking at the Capitol rally, NAACP president Cornell William Brooks denounced the grand jury process, calling it "completely, morally and legally bankrupt."
The trek began Saturday and remained peaceful, though at times tense. Earlier this week in the rural town of Rosebud, Mo., some people opposing the march yelled obscenities at the demonstrators and displayed a Confederate flag.