Protests erupt across the US in support of Ferguson

Officer Darren Wilson has broken his silence and said he shot Michael Brown in self defence.

FILE: Firefighters work to put out a fire at a business after protesters burned buildings in protest against the Grand Jury decision not to indict a white police officer in the shooting of black male, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. Picture: EPA.

FERGUSON - Cities across the United States erupted in more protests over a decision not to charge a police officer in the death of Michael Brown.

The anger and frustration felt in Ferguson, where 2,000 National Guard troops have been deployed, has spread, inflaming racial tensions.

Protests were also held in other major US cities, from New York to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Washington.

Thousands of people took to the streets of New York City, spilling out onto the FDR, a major highway.

Cars stopped, some even hooted in irritation for the traffic jam, but some hooted in support of the chants.

Police used pepper spray to control the crowd after protesters tried to block the Lincoln Tunnel and marched to Times Square.

In St. Louis, about 1,000 demonstrators gathered outside a federal courthouse blocking a road and chanting, "This is what democracy looks like."

SELF DEFENCE

Meanwhile, the police officer at the centre of this storm has broken his silence saying he shot brown in self defence.

Darren Wilson told ABC News in an interview that was aired in part on Tuesday that there was nothing he could have done differently in his confrontation with Brown that would have prevented the teenager's death.

"The reason I have a clean conscience is because I know I did my job right," he told ABC News, adding that he would have acted no differently had Brown been white.

Documents released by prosecutors said that Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, told the grand jury Brown had tried to grab his gun, and that the officer felt his life was in danger when he fired.

"I said, 'Get back or I'm going to shoot you,'" Wilson said, according to the documents.

"He immediately grabs my gun and says, 'You are too much of a pussy to shoot me.'"

At briefing yesterday, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said, Wilson remains on what's called 'administrative leave'

"No decision has been made. His current employment status has not changed, he remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation. That's a personal matter and it's not open for discussion."

Additional reporting by Reuters.