Missouri man charged with arson during Ferguson unrest
A Missouri man has been charged with attempting to burn a grocery store after a grand jury in November decided not to indict the white Ferguson police officer who fatally shot unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown, prosecutors said on Friday.
Antonio Whiteside, 26, of St. Louis County, is charged with one count of attempting to destroy the Ferguson Supermarket by means of fire or explosives on Nov. 24, the office of U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan in St. Louis said in a statement.
Whiteside was indicted on Wednesday and taken into custody late on Thursday, the statement said. If convicted, Whiteside could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The alleged arson occurred after St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch announced that a grand jury had declined to indict officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Brown last August.
Violence erupted in and around Ferguson after McCulloch’s announcement, with buildings torched, stores looted and protesters clashing with police.
St. Louis County and federal bomb and arson officers have been jointly investigating the riots.
“This indictment is but one result of that collaboration, which is an ongoing effort and I expect will produce additional indictments at both the state and federal level,” Callahan said.
(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Missouri; Editing by Will Dunham)