Decision aftermath: A grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, setting off fresh confrontations between protesters and police in the tense Missouri city last night. While most of the protesters were peacefully assembled on the streets of Ferguson, some smashed the windows of a police cruiser and set another on fire. Some protesters rushed the officers lined up in front of the Ferguson police department. Some in the crowd told the agitators to stop throwing bottles, but their urgings fell on deaf air. Police responded by lobbing tear gas, making matters worse.
2. CHUCK HAGEL
On the outs: Chuck Hagel was doomed even before he walked into the Pentagon. The Vietnam veteran with deep relationships on Capitol Hill shocked Washington by appearing unprepared and inarticulate before his former colleagues during a Senate confirmation hearing to become Defense secretary. He never really recovered and, nearly two years later, seemed increasingly out of step with an administration facing new national security challenges everywhere from the Middle East to Ukraine. Hagel announced his intent to resign yesterday. He was pushed out by the President, sources told CNN, but will stay in the job until a successor is named.
3. STAND YOUR GROUND
Plea bargain: A Florida woman who’d been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in a “stand your ground” case accepted a plea bargain yesterday that greatly reduces her sentence. The 20-year sentence came in a case in which the woman, a mother of three, said she was attempting to flee her husband, when she picked up a handgun and fired a shot into a wall. Nobody was struck by the bullet. After having the initial conviction overturned, Marissa Alexander was sentenced yesterday to 65 days in jail on two counts of aggravated assault, with credit for time already served since her 2012 conviction. She’ll also serve two years under house arrest, and she agreed to wear a monitoring device.
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