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

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital 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.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid