- The NFL won't punish five St. Louis Rams players who entered the field before a game on Sunday night while making a "hands up, don't shoot" gesture, reported ESPN. The gesture has become a symbol of the protests that sparked in the St. Louis area after Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson killed Michael Brown in August.
- The St. Louis Police Officers Association had called on the NFL to discipline the five Rams players and apologize. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar later claimed that Rams Chief Operating Officer Kevin Demoff did extend an apology during a conversation, but Demoff told ESPN that didn't happen.
- "In those conversations, I expressed regret that players' actions were construed negatively against law enforcement," Demoff said. "At no time in any of the conversations did I apologize for the actions of our players."
- The Rams players' silent protest came on the heels of the grand jury's decision, announced November 24, to not indict Wilson for killing Brown.
Protests continue in Ferguson and nationwide
Demonstrators have been protesting in Ferguson since the Brown shooting on August 9, but protests picked up last week after the grand jury decision. The organized, daytime protests have been fairly peaceful, while some nighttime protests in the St. Louis area have occasionally devolved into violence — resulting in burned-up buildings and cars.
On Monday, students and workers around the country walked out of their jobs and classes in an organized #HandsUpWalkOut rally.
On this recent Black Friday, demonstrators in the St. Louis area peacefully shut down multiple malls as they marched and called for justice for Brown.
Suburban St. Louis mall protesters now occupying the third floor. Many stores now closed. Far fewer shoppers here. pic.twitter.com/mhulSxMNoC
— Mitch Smith (@MitchKSmith) November 28, 2014
These protests, along with other demonstrations, take aim at the various racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
Kenny Britt, one of the Rams players who joined the field with his hands up, told ESPN he and his teammates weren't taking sides with their gesture on Sunday.
"We wanted to show that we are organized for a great cause and something positive comes out of it," Britt said. "That's what we hope we can make happen. That's our community. We wanted to let the community know that we support the community."