“My heart and my soul are literally crying right now,” said Destiny Planter, vice president of UNC’s Black Student Movement.
St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCullough gave the verdict just after 9 p.m., saying that there was no probable cause to charge Wilson with murder.
More than 150 students gathered Monday night at the Peace and Justice Plaza, holding candles in solidarity with Brown.
Members of the Black Student Movement were encouraged to wear black today to raise awareness, Planter said. She said she had hoped justice would be served.
“I kept my faith alive, and I was seriously disappointed,” she said.
Resita Cox, president of spoken word group EROT, said she expected a no-indictment decision.
“It has happened time and time again,” she said.
Senior Mark Kinney, a member of Zeta Beta Tau, said regardless of whether Wilson was within his legal rights, it’s important to acknowledge the reality of racism.
Junior Cameron Bynum said the testimony given by different witnesses to the grand jury reflected clear racial divides.
“Things like that show that, fundamentally speaking, black and white people live in a different world,” he said.
Alyssa Townsend, president of the National Pan-Hellenic Council, said she’s witnessed police brutality in the Chapel Hill and Raleigh area firsthand.
“I completely support the police department, but how many times is this going to happen before I don’t feel safe around police?”
Protests in the streets of Ferguson have carried on for more than 100 consecutive days in the aftermath of the shooting .
Michael Brown’s family called for four and a half minutes of silence after the verdict — in remembrance of the four and a half hours that Brown’s body lay in the street after being shot.
Cox said she hopes Brown’s case will serve as a wake-up call.
“A lot of times in our age, our generation, these things happen — we’re angry, we’re hurt, we’re upset for a few days, then we go back into this room of silence until it happens again,” she said. “We can never be silent.”
The fact that the no-indictment decision had been largely expected was painful, Cox said.
“It’s just really hurtful that some people don’t value African Americans’ lives,” she said.
“No matter which way this case fell, it is a signal that we live in a world where a police officer can shoot an unarmed black teenager,” Bynum said.
Senior writers Langston Taylor and Hayley Fowler contributed reporting.