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

    US Watching as North Korea Opens Biggest Political Meeting in Decades

    As Workers' Party Congress opens, Washington anticipating possibility of another missile launch or nuclear test as top officials gather

    Video Pop Icon Prince Quietly Helped Afghan Orphans for Years

    He sent thousands of dollars to help an aid group rebuild a training center for orphan boy and girl scouts in Kabul, but kept his involvement secret

    Britain’s Muslims See London Mayor Race as Victory

    Mere running of 45-year-old former government minister and son of Pakistani immigrants Sadiq Khan seen by many as turning point

    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.
    Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labori
    X
    May 05, 2016 6:44 PM
    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Donations Rescue Afghan Parents, Children From Forced Labor

    A Facebook campaign organized by a VOA radio host raised 150,000 Afghan rupees to rescue a family from forced labor at a brick kiln in Nangarhar province – the result of the father’s unpaid debt. Video by a VOA reporter in Jalalabad went viral this week and triggered the Facebook campaign.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora