News / USA

Protests Continue in Ferguson after National Guard Called

  • Police wait to advance after tear gas was used to disperse a crowd during a protest for Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • People protest the killing of Michael Brown, Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • Protesters react to the effects of tear gas in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • Protesters throw rocks and attempt to block the street, Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • Emergency personnel carry a victim from a car crash into an ambulance after protests against the shooting of Michael Brown turned violent near Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • A protester picks up a gas canister to throw back towards the police after tear gas was fired at demonstrators in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • Police officers defend the scene for firefighters to work after looting at the Dellwood Market in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
  • Police officers stand guard at a gas station after protests against the shooting of Michael Brown turned violent near Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 17, 2014.
VOA News

Protesters gathered again on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri late Monday, following the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer that has sparked days of violent protests.

The crowd appeared to be growing in size as it marched.  Television footage showed police leading one of the protesters away in handcuffs.  Many of the police officers on the scene wore gas masks and had guns, batons and shields.

National Guard troops are in Ferguson after arriving there earlier Monday to bolster police forces amid ongoing clashes with protestors.

President Barack Obama says U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to get an update on the federal probe into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer that has sparked days of violent protests.

Obama told reporters at the White House Monday that Holder will meet with Department of Justice and FBI officials on the federal, independent civil rights investigation into the August 9 killing of Michael Brown. Holder will also meet with community leaders on efforts to restore peace and calm to the town outside the city of St. Louis.

The president said while a vast majority of people are protesting peacefully, he urged the "small minority" of demonstrators to "not give into anger by looting or carrying guns or attacking police." Obama said such actions only serve to heighten tensions and chaos and undermine "rather than advance justice."  He also said "there is no excuse for excessive force by police" or any action that denies the rights of those peacefully protesting.

A curfew in Ferguson was lifted Monday after National Guard troops arrived in the central U.S. town to bolster police forces amid ongoing clashes with protestors.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called on authorities in Ferguson to use restraint and uphold the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.

The appeal for calm came as an independent autopsy showed Brown was shot at least six times.

With the deployment of the National Guard to Ferguson on Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said in a written statement that the overnight curfews in place since Saturday would be lifted.

"With these additional resources in place, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and local law enforcement will continue to respond appropriately to incidents of lawlessness and violence, and protect the civil rights of all peaceful citizens to make their voices heard," Nixon said. "We will not use a curfew tonight."

President Obama said he spoke by phone with Nixon on Monday and that he told the governor that the use of the National Guard must be limited in scope and that he would be monitoring to see whether its presence is helping or hurting progress.

The U.S. president urged the Ferguson community to seek understanding, healing, and “the shared humanity that has been laid bare by this moment.”

Before the curfew began late Sunday, police in body armor and gas masks, accompanied by armored vehicles, fired tear gas at protesters marching toward them.  Protesters said the demonstration was peaceful before police began using tear gas. Police officials and the governor accused a "violent criminal element" of escalating the confrontation.

Attorneys for the family of 18-year-old Michael Brown said at a news conference on Monday morning that a preliminary autopsy shows the unarmed black teen was "trying to surrender" when Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot him last weekend in the middle of a Ferguson street.

An independent autopsy at the request of the family showed the 18-year-old was shot six times on August 9, including two bullets to the top of his head.

Family lawyer Benjamin Crump said the Browns requested their own autopsy before the U.S. Department of Justice said it would conduct a federal one.

"They did not want to be left having to rely on the autopsy done by the St. Louis law enforcement agencies - the same individuals they feel are responsible for executing their son in broad daylight," said Crump.

The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
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The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.
The Brown family's attorney Daryl Parks speaks during a news conference to share preliminary results of a second autopsy done on 18-year-old Michael Brown, in St. Louis County, Missouri, Aug. 18, 2014.

Lawyers and two medical experts told reporters the gunshot wounds to the head support witnesses' statements Brown's head was down and the teen was surrendering when Officer Darren Wilson shot him.

Brown family attorney Daryl Parks on Monday called for charges to be brought against Wilson.

"We believe that given those kinds of facts, this officer should have been arrested," said Parks.

Wilson is on paid administrative leave during the investigation.

 

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Comments
     
by: Temitope David from: Nigeria
August 22, 2014 12:20 PM
Despite all these calamities happening in the United State of America, its still so dismaying that Racial segregation is still been practiced in some of the State. Well I know Barack Obama is not asleep.

by: Melvin from: USA
August 18, 2014 9:04 PM
As the worlds eyes are on Ferguson, MO the mainstream media, INCLUDING VOA, has been caught multiple times in spreading manipulative lies. Whether it’s the lie that the riot police helped Al Jazeera while shooting rubber bullets and tear gas at them or the lie that on Saturday night tear gas wasn’t shot at protestors, Infowars has been exposing the lies from the front lines.

by: MO Guard from: Ferguson
August 18, 2014 8:33 PM
We are in Ferguson to restore order to a "racial" incident. Really? Read this and decide if this was another "good" idea: http://mashable.com/2014/08/18/missouri-national-guard-racial-tension/

by: Anonymous
August 18, 2014 8:11 PM
Yank the cops out and blow the place to hell

by: John Humbert from: California
August 18, 2014 4:23 PM
All Guardsmen deployed in this matter must remember that it was domestic enemies of the Constitution, in the form of out of control cops, that caused the problem. If the safeguards against the growth of a cancerous police state that are in the Constitution continue to be subverted, American style liberty will die.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 18, 2014 6:24 AM
This shooting is an indictment of the US police department. It is also a question mark on the US anti-racism control. It is a direct attack on the president who himself is an African American, though having forgotten his root but fails to become more American than Americans. Racism is not about to die down by standard, no matter how much it is preached against. So those who must, like Michael Jackson, go into skin transplant and grafting to change their look to what they are not, with the hope it is now a free world, must be mistaken. History will always tell the story. So it is important that people should know their limits and not behave like the world belongs to them once they leave Africa and find themselves in those countries that have a history of preaching freedoms as an innuendo for restrictions. It is the inability of people to understand their limits that leads to excesses both by themselves and cause the police cracking, as in this case of the killing of Brown.

Whatever is required of the police, he is foremost a man with sentiments, and the limit to his elastic snap must have been overstretched by the African American. Truth is, even if the police gets locked away for killing the teenager, it does not bring back the teenager to life and cannot in any way compensate the family. A little more caution should have been applied here, especially by parents to make their children and wards to understand the virtue called respect. It could have saved the life and trouble to all parties concerned. Growing wild in America has only bred trouble and no solution to the problem of insecurity the world over, especially forcing innocent police men to kill or manhandle troublesome persons.
In Response

by: mysterion from: MilkyWay
August 19, 2014 3:33 AM
OK here's the scenario:-

Black officer shoots white teenager.

Rioting, stealing, criminal damage, illegal firearms used against police OR natural course of justice pursued?

Discuss
In Response

by: RICO from: London
August 18, 2014 3:50 PM
You do realise there is no US police department.

by: mysterion from: MilkyWay
August 18, 2014 5:09 AM
OK I have a problem. As a Brit I never understand why when a black person is shot in America all the blacks riot and smash and destroy and steal property that doesn't belong to them. ( I suspect that any reason to steal from your own community is in order among some members of society having seen that in London too)

When a white person gets shot by a black person nothing happens.

Am I missing something here?
In Response

by: RICO from: London
August 18, 2014 3:55 PM
Loads of young black men get shot in the USA and no one riots. The difference in this case is he was shot by a police officer, he was unarmed, there are witnesses that describe it as an execution, he has no or minor criminal history.

There is also a large number of professional activists who live off this sort of injustice and have very high level media contacts.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
August 18, 2014 10:04 AM
@mysterion from: MilkyWay, you're actually missing something here, and that is that the Africans are having an issue with the psychology of indignation recalling the 1960s and the African history in America. Don't be in a hurry to forget that, once beaten, twice shy.. It's not right to kill anybody when you can arrest him with all the instrument of state security at your disposal.

However, Africans out there appear to take things for granted and become wild and hysteric. Somehow a bridling measure is required if Africans must show good representation of the African continent in their host countries abroad. What is missing is that police failure is state failure and an individual that kills is taen into account by the state security operatives, no two ways about it. And that is the story between blacks rioting when they are killed and when they kill a white. Understood?

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