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Fires, Looting Reported in Missouri Following Grand Jury Decision

ABC NEWS(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- More than a dozen buildings in Ferguson, Missouri were set on fire overnight, with 61 people arrested as protesters railed against a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the August shooting death of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

Gov. Jay Nixon ordered additional Missouri National Guardsmen to Ferguson Tuesday morning amid protests across the city, the governor’s office announced in a statement.

A large number of troops were later seen marching in file, wearing riot gear.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, speaking at a Tuesday morning press conference, said he didn’t think law enforcement officials were under-prepared to handle the situation.

His main goal was the preservation of life, he said. But Belmar was disappointed by the violence and looting that followed Monday’s announcement.

“What I’ve seen tonight is worse than the worst night we had in August,” Belmar said, recalling weeks of protests that followed the shooting.

“The fabric of the community has been torn apart tonight.”

At least 16 people were treated at local hospitals due to injuries, Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said. Johnson said officers showed “great courage” in patrolling the city.

“Our community has to take some responsibility for what happened tonight,” Johnson said. “We have done something here that is going to impact our community for a long time.”

Numerous fires were visible in Ferguson throughout Monday night and early Tuesday morning, with buildings and vehicles engulfed. The bulk of the devastation from the overnight protests in the Ferguson, Missouri, area occurred over a 1.5-square-mile stretch.

Businesses were left trashed amid the protests.

The protests followed a grand jury’s decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for the Aug. 9 shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown.

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Protests have also spread to other cities.

In New York, approximately 200 people gathered in Union Square, then marched to Times Square. In Philadelphia, several hundred people marched along Market Street in downtown. In Chicago, about 200 demonstrators marched peacefully through the streets.

In Washington, about 150 to 200 people are marching towards the White House. And in Los Angeles, about 100 people are marching downtown on Martin Luther King Boulevard.

Marches were also reported in Oakland, Calif., and Seattle.

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