Protests spread to dozens of US cities overnight in response to the grand jury decision not to indict the white police officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

Peaceful demonstrations were organised across 37 states, including in the cities of Albuquerque, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, Seattle, and St Louis.

However, rioting did break out in the port city of Oakland, California, where police made 43 arrests, with the riots believed to be partly attributed to long-term grievances with the police department in the city.

Demonstrations also continued for a second night in Ferguson, with the police making 44 arrests, but small pockets of violence were more subdued than the full-scale riots of Monday night.

Brown’s family denounced the grand jury’s decision not to indict Wilson for his actions, but condemned the violence and riots that followed the decision.

At least 2,200 National Guard soldiers were deployed to assist the police in maintaining order in the town of 12,000 people, mostly African American.

Earlier, in an interview with ABC News, Darren Wilson, the police officer that shot and killed black teenage Michael Brown on 9 August, said that he had a “clean conscience” and described Brown as having the strength of “Hulk Hogan” during their struggle.

Many commentators have noted that it is “unfair” that police officers are rarely indicted by grand juries, while statistically grand juries fail to indict in less than one per cent of cases on average, according to FiveThirtyEight.

Speaking from Chicago on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said that he accepted many communities of colour felt that laws were not being enforced fairly, but that this was “no excuse” for the destructive acts of violence and rioting as seen in Ferguson and Oakland.

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