On Wednesday, protestors were mostly calm and generous, offering water to strangers and mingling peacefully. After 8 p.m., as marches began, protestors shouted, “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” and police began to usher them out of the way.
“This was the spark,” Norita Bonaparte, 40, a Ferguson resident, tells PEOPLE. “It put more fuel to the fire. St. Louis really is the ‘Show Me State’ and they’re not going to stop until they feel justice has prevailed. But if it doesn’t, that’s what I’m worried about. It’s not going to be a nice scene.”
Despite a visit by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday, where he assured residents that the death of Brown – who was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during a response to a robbery, according to police reports – would be fully investigated.
Wilson, who has been on administrative leave since the shooting, has not yet been indicted in Brown’s death.
“This incident, only God knows why it happened,” Bonaparte says. “But it has been exposed. If he [Wilson] doesn’t get indicted, if nothing happens to him – I don’t think it’s going to be good. I will have to pack up and [leave] for a while.”
• Reporting by ELAINE ARADILLAS