Buildings and cars were set on fire in Ferguson, Missouri, as angry protests broke out after authorities announced that a grand jury voted not to indict a white officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teen.

Overhead flights were restricted and police fired tear gas as rioters took to the streets of Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, looting shops and burning cars.

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A man is silhouetted against a burning building in Ferguson after a grand jury returned no indictment in the police shooting of Michael BrownJim Young/Reuters
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A car is driven past a burning building in FergusonJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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A man watches a burning building in Ferguson after the grand jury decisionJim Young/Reuters
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A demonstrator celebrates as a business burns following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case in FergusonScott Olson / Getty Images

Angry crowds gathered around the police department in Ferguson after the grand jury said there was no probable cause to charge officer Darren Wilson with any crime in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

St Louis police reported heavy gunfire in the area near where Brown was shot and killed on 9 August. Shop windows were smashed, and fires devoured buildings including a beauty shop and a pizza parlour.

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A man walks past a burning police vehicle during clashes between police and protesters in FergusonJewel Samad/AFP
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Protesters attack a police car following the grand jury decision in the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in FergusonJewel Samad/AFP
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Vehicles burn at a used car dealer in FergusonJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Smoke fills a laundromat as a strip mall burns in FergusonJustin Sullivan/Getty Images
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A man runs out of a shop with packets of chips and a bottle of soft drinkAaron P Bernstein/Getty Images

Police fired volleys of tear gas and flash-bang canisters in response to the protests, a repeat of similar unrest that erupted in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.

Officials urged tolerance and assured residents that the National Guard would provide security at critical facilities like fire houses, police stations and utility substations.

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Police form a line in the street under a "seasons greetings" sign after a grand jury returned no indictment in the shooting of Michael Brown in FergusonJim Young/Reuters
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Police stand guard as violence breaks out following the grand jury decision in FergusonAaron P Bernstein/Getty Images
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A police officer aims a weapon following the grand jury decision in FergusonJewel Samad/AFP
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Police take up position during clashes with protesters in FergusonJewel Samad/AFP

Brown's family immediately urged a non-violent response to the grand jury's decision.

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Michael Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden (L) and other protesters react after hearing the grand jury decision in the fatal shooting of her son in FergusonJewel Samad/AFP

US President Barack Obama called for protesters to remain peaceful and for police to show restraint.

"We are a nation built on the rule of law and so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury's to make," Obama told a televised news conference.