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Protesters lay down in front of Justice Department to protest Ferguson

Protesters disrupted Monday morning traffic in D.C. as they demonstrated against the grand jury decision in Michael Brown's shooting death. (Video: The Washington Post)

Updated at 1:44 p.m.

Protesters laid down in front of the Justice Department’s headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue NW on Monday afternoon in a protest against the Ferguson, Mo., grand jury decision.

D.C. police said there were no protest-related street closures.

On social media, organizers had called for a nationwide walk-out at 1 p.m. with the motto “Hands Up.”

In the District, a group of about two dozen protesters gathered just after 1 p.m.  in front of the Justice Department. One protester told the crowd, “We must love each other and protect each other! We have nothing to lose but our chains.”

One organizer, Erika Totten, said, “Stand with us or get stuck in traffic.”

Totten, a self-proclaimed soccer mom from Alexandria, said she was arrested Sunday after another Ferguson-related protest on Interstate 395 in the District. She said she felt honored sitting in a jail cell.

Totten said she’s protesting for her young daughter and son.

“I have to worry about someone looking at my baby like they’re a threat,” she said.

She said wears bright colors when she runs now and even asked her husband not to wear a hoodie when he jogs.

“A hoodie on a black body means you are a criminal, a threat. That your death will be justified.”

She said she tells her kids, not to watch out for strangers, but to “watch out for the cops.”

When she heard about Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Totten flew there. She said she was tear gassed and shot at for three days.

Scenes from the 1 p.m. protest in front of the Justice Department.

Another demonstration is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday in the District.

In protests, earlier Monday morning there were no arrests, D.C. Police said.

Updated at 9:44 a.m.

Protests in the District are disbanding at 7th and H Streets NW, and those roadways have reopened, according to D.C. police.

Officials said the protesters were lying down in the roadway but moving once they were given warnings.

No arrests were made, police said. There were roughly 30 protesters involved.

The protest group has said it plans to be back out on the roadways for a demonstration around 1 p.m. It is not immediately clear as to where they plan to protest.

Updated at 9:35 a.m.

D.C. Police said protesters are now “stationary” at 7th and H Streets NW. They started their protest related to the Ferguson decision earlier Monday morning and have caused temporary street closures along the way. It is not immediately clear how long the protests would last. It is the third day such demonstrations have occurred in the District, causing traffic delays.

Updated at 9:20 a.m.

Protesters related to the recent Ferguson decision were reported to be “stationary” in the 900 block of Constitution Avenue NW Monday morning just after 9 a.m., according to D.C. Police.

It was not immediately known where the protesters were headed, but officials said they suspect they’re going to the Justice Department’s headquarters at Pennsylvania Avenue.

At 9:22 a.m, the protesters were headed northbound on 7th Street from Constitution Avenue, according to D.C. Police. Officials said Constitution Avenue is now open in both directions.

Drivers expressed frustration at the protesters in messages on social media.

Updated at 9:01 a.m.

D.C. Police said protesters continue to slow traffic in the city.

Protesters had previously blocked the 14th Street bridge, but it has reopened.

At 9 a.m., D.C. police said no arrests have been made because the group continues to move along, heading eastbound on Constitution Avenue. Police have temporarily closed Constitution Avenue in both directions between 9th and 12th streets.

D.C. Police officials said as long as the protesters are not standing still, they won’t be arrested. But if the protesters fail to obey three warnings — given by police on the scene  — they could be arrested, according to police. So far, no warnings have been given.

It is the third day in a row that protesters have blocked traffic in the D.C. area.

Updated at 8:38 a.m.

Protesters blocked traffic in the northbound lanes of 14th Street bridge at D Street in Southwest Monday morning.

D.C. Police said the southbound lanes are open but northbound is blocked. It is not immediately clear how long the roadway would be blocked.

Metro said some of its buses in that area are experiencing delays of up to 20 minutes in both directions because of the protests.

Some protesters laid in the roadway and others held signs that read, “Accountability for killer cops.”

Highway officials at the Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination (MATOC) advised commuters there was heavy traffic from the 14th Street bridge that was causing delays on the George Washington Parkway as well.

Original post at 6:30 a.m.

Authorities in the District said they are expecting protests during Monday morning’s commute in part of downtown related to the recent decision in Ferguson, Mo.

D.C. Police said it was not immediately clear exactly where or when the protesters plan to try to disrupt traffic, but they’re expecting people to demonstrate in the area of Constitution Avenue during the morning rush. Police said they have extra officers on hand to deal with any possible disruptions.

Online a group called Ferguson Action urged people to leave their schools and jobs at 1 p.m. this afternoon to rally against police violence. Other mentions of potential protests were also on social media —

Protests after a grand jury in Ferguson decided last week not to indict police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown have been ongoing around the country. On Sunday, a demonstration disrupted traffic on Interstate 395 between the Maine Avenue and Third Street tunnel exits in the District. The event ended peacefully.

Wilson resigned from the Ferguson police department over the weekend.