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Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that the federal investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown is still underway and remains independent of the local probe.

"Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now," Holder said in a statement released after a state prosecutor in Missouri announced a gran jury had declined to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. "And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions."

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Law enforcement has released pictures of Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson after he shot Michael Brown, following the grand jury's decision Monday not to indict Wilson.

Prosecutor Bob McCulloch said that some witnesses said Brown had punched Wilson, and McCulloch said that Wilson had some swelling and redness on his face.

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Thousands of people rallied late Monday in U.S. cities including Los Angeles and New York to passionately but peacefully protest a grand jury's decision not to indict a white police officer who killed a black 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri.

They led marches, waved signs and shouted chants of "Hands Up! Don't Shoot," the slogan that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings across the country.

Activists had been planning to protest even before the nighttime announcement that Officer Darren Wilson will not be charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

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Part of Michael Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden's reaction to the news that a St. Louis County grand jury would not indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson for shooting her son Michael Brown was caught on tape.

St. Louis alderman Antonio French, who has frequently been present on the ground in Ferguson since the Aug. 9 shooting, posted a brief video of Brown's mother's reaction after the announcement.

"They still don't care," McSpadden, identified by French in his post, said. "They ain't never gon' care."

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FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County Police are confirming officers used tear gas to disperse crowds in Ferguson after a police car was vandalized, business windows shattered and gunshots were heard in the streets.

Some protesters erupted in anger after the announcement that Officer Darren Wilson won't be indicted in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Protesters overran a barricade and taunted police. Some chanted "murderer" and others threw rocks and bottles.

The windows of a police car were smashed and protesters tried to topple it before it was set ablaze. Officers responded by firing what authorities said was smoke and pepper spray into the crowd. St. Louis County Police later confirmed tear gas also was used.

Some in the crowd tried to stop others from taking part in the violence.

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In announcing Monday that Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson would not be charged in the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch provided the most detailed account yet of what led to the shooting and the shooting itself.

McCulloch emphasized that the grand jury had heard from witnesses who had not spoken to the press and reviewed the entirety of the physical evidence. "They are the only people who have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence," he said.

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President Obama on Monday called on protesters to react peacefully to the St. Louis County grand jury's decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown -- even as TV networks showed a split screen of the president's speech with police firing tear gas at protestors.

Obama said that it's "an understandable reaction" for some to be angry with the decision, but he urged people to respect the wishes of Michael Brown's family and refrain from violence.

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