FERGUSON, Mo. -- Gherica Lewis expected the worst when five squad cars -- sirens blaring -- stopped suddenly as she walked with her 10-month-old daughter and the girl's father along the street in Ferguson, Missouri where riot police clashed with protesters for months after Michael Brown's shooting death, making widespread arrests and deploying tear gas to control sometimes violent crowds.
"I thought I was going to jail," she said.
Instead, Lewis, 24, and Kimoni Griffin, 23, received several $100 bills from a secret Santa who chose Ferguson for the Wednesday afternoon holiday cash giveaway to help the community recover after the August 2014 fatal shooting of Brown, who was black, by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white.
The anonymous benefactor, a Kansas City businessman, asked to not be publicly identified to focus attention on the importance of charity rather than his own background.