FERGUSON, Missouri (CNN) -- Like the night before, the tension here got thicker with every tick of the clock Tuesday night.
Protesters, kept at bay all evening by riot police and the National Guard, got restive. It was cold. It was late.
They left their routine protest position outside the Ferguson Police Department and took their anger north. Some flipped over a police cruiser briefly, broke out its windows and set it on fire. Police moved in quickly to snuff it out.
The acrid smell of pepper spray filled the air. Eyes were burning. Throats were scratching.
So went another night in Ferguson, where demonstrators have been protesting Monday's grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer in the death of an unarmed black teen.
Police stepped in Tuesday to warn the crowds to disperse.
"Refuse to leave and you will be subject to arrest," a voice warned.
"Let's go," some shouted as they left city hall and headed toward the police department.
Once there, National Guardsmen in full riot gear awaited -- separated from hundreds of protesters by one lane of road.
"We are not your enemy," protesters chanted. "We just want justice."
Veronica Wintersheidt, 29, and her husband braved cold temperatures to show their solidarity.
"We live in a world of white privilege," she said. "So it's difficult for us to judge."
Others said they weren't afraid to come out and "stand up against injustice."
"I feel people have every right to get violent. It's a form of retaliation," said Shannon White, 20. "People are tired of being treated this way by the system."
At one point, protest organizers attempted to call for four and a half minutes of silence to honor Brown -- his body lay on the street for four and half hours after he was shot . But the crowd was too restless, too worked up to remain quiet.
Darren Wilson speaks out
Meanwhile, in his first interview since the fatal shooting, police Officer Darren Wilson maintained that he killed Michael Brown, 18, out of fear for his life during their encounter on August 9.
In the interview with ABC News, he said his response had nothing to do with race.
"I know I did my job right," he said.
Repeating what he told a grand jury investigating the shooting, Wilson said Brown reached into his police vehicle and grabbed for his gun.
"I just felt the immense power that he had. And then the way I've described it is, it was like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan. That's just how big this man was," Wilson said. "He was very large, very powerful man."
Earlier in the day, volunteers helped clean up vandalized stores and eateries, and board up broken windows and doors.
Some residents carried guns and said volunteers were out protecting houses on the streets off South Florissant Road.
Armed men carrying assault rifles paced the roof of Beauty World, a store that was badly damaged in Monday's protests.
Avoiding a repeat
Throughout the day, authorities scrambled resources in a bid to prevent a repeat of the violence that erupted in the wake of the grand jury's decision.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered additional National Guardsmen to the area, boosting their numbers from 700 to 2,200.
"We are bringing more resources to Ferguson and other parts of the region to prevent a repetition of the lawlessness experienced overnight," the governor said. "We must do better and we will."
Outrage over the grand jury's decision escalated from coast to coast, with protests in about 170 cities nationwide.
From New York to Los Angeles and dozens and dozens of cities in between, protesters flooded the streets to denounce the grand jury's decision. Some demonstrations blocked bridges, tunnels and major highways. But unlike the violence that erupted in Ferguson on Monday night, the protests across the country Tuesday night were largely peaceful.
"They have given us no justice! We will give them no peace," protesters chanted as they massed in front of the Underground Atlanta shopping district in Atlanta.
In the New York area, they briefly blocked one of the entrances to the Lincoln Tunnel.
"We are on the side of Michael Brown to fight for what is right," the Rev. Al Sharpton said in front of Brown's family, earlier Tuesday. ".... "We may have lost round one, but the fight is not over."
The vast majority of protests in the weeks after Brown's death have been peaceful. And authorities hope to keep it that way.
"All agree that the violence we saw in the areas of Ferguson (Monday) night cannot be repeated," Nixon said.