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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

America's Most Exotic Presidential Pets

From alligators to bears, the White House has been home to some unusual presidential pets over the years 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.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs