News / USA

Obama Urges Calm as Shooting Protests Continue

  • Riot police stand guard as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 13, 2014.
  • Riot police stop a vehicle as they clear a street of demonstrators, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 13, 2014.
  • Riot police clear a street with smoke bombs while clashing with demonstrators, in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 13, 2014.
  • Lesley McSpadden (right), mother of 18-year-old Michael Brown, watches as Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., holds a family picture, during a news conference, Aug. 11, 2014.
  • A man watches as police walk through a cloud of smoke during a clash with protesters, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 13, 2014.
  • A protester wears a sign on his back during a protest against the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 13, 2014.
Luis Ramirez

President Barack Obama is calling for peace and calm as protests continue following the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in the U.S. state of Missouri.  

The protests escalated to the point Thursday that President Obama took time from his vacation to express his concern about the racial violence that erupted in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown by a police officer.

“Now is the time for healing.  Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson," said President Obama.

Since the August 9 shooting, protesters have taken to the streets and clashed with police, who have used tear gas and smoke bombs to quell the unrest.  Police officials say they did so after some of the demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at them.

In his remarks Thursday, the president called on both sides to show restraint.
 
“There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights," said Obama.

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees Americans the right to free speech.

Obama criticized police following the arrest of two news reporters who were covering the demonstrations.

“Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people what they see on the ground," he said.

There are conflicting reports on how Michael Brown was killed.  Police say the black teenager was shot while struggling with an officer.  A witness says Brown had his arms up when the police officer shot him.

President Obama has asked federal authorities to conduct an independent investigation.

 

 

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 16, 2014 12:57 PM
Instead of a white police officer, if that shooting incident would've involved a black one, this sort of riotings wouldn't have developed. Our federal police dept. of the state of Missouri , the police chief should pacify our people involved in the unrest, that would behove well.No racial discrimination should take its ugly color in America.

by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 15, 2014 9:30 AM
The shooting of Michael Brown must be investigated impartially without any racial bias. While a police officer shoots somebody, that'a white or a black one, there does remain legal reasons. Instead of Michael Brown of the black communinity, if a white one would've been shot instead, if this sort of chaos and demonstrations the blacks would've resorted? Certainly not.

by: hfr. FAther Moe from: missouri
August 14, 2014 5:42 PM
Before the St. Louis Co. Police attacked members of the media yesterday in Ferguson, Missouri, they foreshadowed their intent to target the press and suppress the First Amendment by aiming their guns at unarmed reporters.

VOA, could care less, and has done ZERO reporting. FACT!!!


Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fairi
X
Brian Padden
May 29, 2015 1:27 PM
With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs