.gov inc. is Huntin ‘Em Down One at a Time…Missouri man charged with arson during Ferguson unrest

Posted: February 14, 2015 by gamegetterII in Ferguson
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(Reuters) – A Missouri man has been charged with attempting to burn a grocery store after a grand jury in November decided not to indict a 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, he 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 for killing Brown on Aug. 9.

Buildings were set on fire, stores were looted and protesters clashed with police as violence erupted in and around Ferguson after the announcement. St. Louis County and federal bomb and arson officers have been jointly investigating since 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.

Whiteside was the first person indicted through the efforts of the local and federal investigative team, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office said. But many arrests were made on the night of the Nov. 24 riots, including a man charged with knowingly causing fire or explosions, arrest records show.

Authorities have offered rewards of up to $10,000 for turning in arsonists responsible for the burning of buildings on Nov. 24.

(Reporting by Kevin Murphy in Kansas City, Missouri; Additional reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Will Dunham and Mohammad Zargham)

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