The Ferguson, Missouri, crowd protesting after the announcement that Darren Wilson will not face any charges for killing Michael Brown has been described by reporters on the scene as smaller than the ones that gathered after Brown's death in August. But the crowd is also overwhelmingly young and very angry. There have been reports of isolated gunshots and cars and buildings set on fire.
As MSNBC's Chris Hayes, put it, "A lot of people just out and angry tonight."
The night's events have raised an important question: why did prosecutor Robert McCulloch choose to make the announcement at 8 pm instead of earlier in the day?
MSNBC's Joy Reid said Monday night that, in choosing to announce the news after dark, authorities "deliberately almost left themselves with the people most committed to despair," suggesting that those who were inclined to take to the streets at night were also the least organized and most agitated.
Although protests would have taken place regardless of the timing of McCulloch's announcement that Darren Wilson wouldn't be charged, it's been reported that the timing had to do with schools and traffic. Given the massive anticipation and enormous well of frustration surrounding this decision, that does make some sense.
Announcing at night allows for rush hour traffic to clear, schools to get all children home. Protesters were going to protest, day or night— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) November 24, 2014
Still, it's really hard to imagine the current scene in Ferguson happening at noon.
There will be a lot of tough questions tomorrow about making this announcement at night, with huge crowds gathered. #Ferguson— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 25, 2014
More questionable decisions in Ferguson?
For many who've questioned the choices of law enforcement officials and politicians since the day Brown was killed in August, McCulloch's timing was just the latest in a string of bad decisions.
Absolutely bizarre that the prosecutors waited until 8:30 at night to make the announcement. Why not wait until the daytime?! #Ferguson— Christina Henderson (@Miss_CTINA) November 25, 2014
Making this announcement at night seems designed for maximum negative impact. #Ferguson— lclemetson (@lclemetson) November 25, 2014
Gunshots fired in Ferguson. Which seems exactly why you don't make this kind of an announcement at this time of night.— Matt Viser (@mviser) November 25, 2014
I'm starting to think they purposely read that statement at night time now... it's crazy in Ferguson right now— Ace Boogie (@iamjrudy) November 25, 2014
From the initial handling to announcing the #FergusonDecision at 9 at night, Ferguson officials are like a case book on how to F things up.— EverythinginEaston (@Eastonwordsmith) November 25, 2014
Did someone really think it was a good idea to announce the Ferguson decision at night?— Wesley Harris (@wes_harris1) November 25, 2014