Valley residents react to Ferguson decision

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A small group of protesters gathered in Tempe Monday after a grand jury handed up a decision in Ferguson, Missouri. The members of the grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed Mike Brown, a black teen earlier this summer.

"I had a little bit of hope, but I'm not surprised whatsoever, incredibly. Just dissatisfied with our system and just let down," said protester Claudia Corzine.

In all, about 30 people protested in Tempe. For the most part, it was peaceful.

The group started out at Tempe Beach Park carrying signs, some covering their faces but all of them very peaceful as they marched and chanted through the park.

The scene locally was very different from what was unfolding in Ferguson Monday night, where fires, looting, vandalism and violence erupted following the decision.

Some of the people at the East Valley protest saying justice has not been done and that there is a systemic problem with officers using brutality against young black men and getting away with it, which they say was the case Monday.

"We saw what 'the law' accomplished tonight, you know, by letting a murderer go free, and I think that it's our duty to peacefully come out here and protest and resist which is the most we can do. Hopefully they don't call the national guard on us," said a protester who wanted to remain anonymous said.

Local civil rights leaders also expressed their disappointment in this decision.

In fact, ahead of the announcement, Attorney General Tom Horne and Valley civil rights leaders held a press conference asking people to stay calm once the decision was announced.

Horne emphasized that protesters here in the Valley have every right to express their displeasure with the government, but in a peaceful manner.

"It's a precious constitutional right we all have, but it does have to be peaceful, violence or disorder would subtract from any message that people want to send," Horne said.

Tempe Police said no arrests or citations were given as a result of the protests Monday.