News / USA

Missouri Governor Orders National Guard Withdrawal From Ferguson

  • A man sells T-shirts along the roadside in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • National Guard troops stand guard inside a shopping center parking lot in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • People gather outside the White House as part of a "National Day of Rage" protest against the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Protesters march near the spot where Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Missouri., Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Demonstrators shout "Hands up, don't shoot," in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Police officers patrol a street while demonstrators take part in a march in support of the protests against the killing of Michael Brown, New York City, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • A woman holds a sign during a protest against the shooting of Michael Brown. Oakland, California, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Several hundred demonstrators march through Oakland, California during a protest against the shooting of Michael Brown, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder greets Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant in Florissant, Missouri Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bradley J. Rayford, 22, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2014.

Ferguson, Missouri – Thursday, Aug. 21

VOA News

The governor of the central U.S. state of Missouri on Thursday ordered the withdrawal of the National Guard from a town rocked by nearly two weeks of protests following the August 9 shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a white policeman.  

The national troops arrived in Ferguson on Monday to support police after violent clashes with protesters.

Despite peaceful daytime protests, police and certain demonstrators that officials called "instigators" exchanged firebombs and tear gas nightly at the peak of violence.

Governor Jay Nixon said in a written statement that he was removing the National Guard  because the situation in Ferguson "has greatly improved with fewer incidents of outside instigators interfering with peaceful protestors, and fewer acts of violence."

Simmering situation

More than 150 people have been arrested in Ferguson since protests began, mainly for failing to disperse at the request of police. Police on Thursday reported only six arrests overnight, about 40 fewer than the night before.

Thursday in Washington, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice "stands with the people of Ferguson."

Holder said his brief trip a day earlier to Missouri to speak with residents and police officials affected him like few events have in his time as head of the Justice Department.

"While I went to Ferguson to provide reassurance, in fact, they gave me hope. My commitment to them is that long after this tragic story no longer receives this level of attention, the Justice Department will continue to stand with Ferguson," he said.

Holder cites 'underlying tensions'

Holder said it is clear the shooting "brought to the surface underlying tensions" in the town where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed.

"There is a history to these tensions and that history simmers in more communities than just Ferguson," he said.

Holder, who is black, mentioned his teenage son and his brother, a retired police officer, in an effort to connect with the Brown family and the law enforcement community. The Justice Department and local police officials are conducting parallel investigations into Brown's death.

Brown's shooting has raised allegations of institutionalized discrimination and excessive use of force by police.

Officials in Ferguson said one officer was suspended indefinitely after pointing his assault rifle at a protester earlier this week and threatening to kill that person.

Investigation begins

At the national level the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin Wednesday drawing attention to plans by the activist group called Anonymous for protests against Brown's death.

The bulletin said there is no indication the protests are expected to become violent. But it said recent protests in Ferguson have resulted in violence, property damage and arrests.

Also Wednesday, a grand jury investigating the fatal shooting began hearing evidence in the case. The grand jury will determine whether to charge officer Darren Wilson in the teen's death.

Wilson is on paid leave, with Brown's family and supporters calling for his arrest.

You May Like

Polls Open in Scotland Independence Vote

As race to persuade undecided voters continues, 'No' voters say they believe life in Scotland will slowly improve, 'Yes' vote not worth the risk More

South Africa’s 'Open Mosque' Admits Everyone, Including Critics

Open Mosque founder plans to welcome gay worshipers and allow women to lead prayers More

Ukrainian Activist in Despair About Future of Her Country

IrIna Dovgan, accused of being a spy and tortured by pro-Russian separatists, is appealing to UN Human Rights Council to support her country More

Comment Sorting
Comment on this forum (1)
Comments
     
by: Lestino from: Florida
August 22, 2014 10:23 AM
Holder says there are tensions there. Real Americans call it rioting and looting! I guess people like him see it different.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Wateri
X
September 17, 2014 8:44 PM
Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.
Video

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

China says its has sentenced three men to death and one woman to life in prison for a deadly knife attack in March that left more than 30 dead and 140 injured. Beijing says Muslim militants from China's restive western region of Xinjiang carried out the attacks. Now, more than six months after the incident, residents in the city are still coping with the aftermath. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Kunming.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid