News / USA

    Rival Rallies Held in Ferguson, Missouri as Calm Prevails

    • Sondra Fifer (C) confronts demonstrators supporting Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson during a rally in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 23, 2014.
    • Supporters of Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson hold a rally on Aug. 23, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.
    • Supporters of officer Darren Wilson hold posters outside Barney's Sports Pub in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 23, 2014.
    • A demonstrator supporting Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson holds up a sign during a rally in St. Louis, Missouri Aug. 23, 2014.
    • Sondra Fifer voices support for Michael Brown amidst a rally held to show support for Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson Aug. 23, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri.
    • Demonstrators walk along West Florissant Avenue, Aug. 23, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
    • Demonstrators march together to protest the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 23, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
    • A demonstrator protesting the shooting of Michael Brown holds a sign in Ferguson, Missouri Aug. 23, 2014.
    VOA News

    Rival rallies were held Saturday in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, where tensions are easing two weeks after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager following a confrontation on a neighborhood street.

    The St. Louis County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) organized a march in support of 18-year-old Michael Brown, while supporters of the officer who shot him -- Darren Wilson -- gathered elsewhere.

    Police say Brown and Wilson were involved in a struggle, but most witnesses say the August 9 shooting was unprovoked.  

    Supporters of officer Darren Wilson hold posters outside Barney's Sports Pub in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 23, 2014.
    Supporters of officer Darren Wilson hold posters outside Barney's Sports Pub in St. Louis, Missouri, Aug. 23, 2014.

    Friday marked the third consecutive night of calm between police and protesters following nearly two weeks of unrest and violence.

    Brown funeral set for Monday

    Authorities, however, are bracing for a possible resurgence of anger with Brown's funeral set for Monday.

    The White House announced Saturday that three presidential aides
     would attend Brown's funeral. They are Broderick Johnson, head of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, and Marlon Marshall and Heather Foster from the White House Office of Public Engagement.

    In New York Saturday, demonstrators gathered to seek justice in the death of another unarmed black man, Eric Garner, who died after a white police officer placed him in a chokehold.  Thousands of people marched through Staten Island with civil rights activist, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and relatives of Garner.

    The National Guard began pulling out of Ferguson Friday after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered their removal, saying the situation had "greatly improved."

    150 arrests

    More than 150 people have been arrested in Ferguson since the protests began -- most of them for failing to disperse at the request of police.

    Many have complained that the police response to the protests has been heavy-handed, while the shooting itself has raised allegations of institutionalized racism and excessive use of force.

    The incident has highlighted the racial divide in the mostly black town of Ferguson, where almost all police and local politicians are white.  On a broader scale, it has put the spotlight on racial tensions across the United States.

    Parallels have been drawn between the killing of Brown and the 2012 shooting death of another unarmed black teenager, Trayvon Martin.  Martin was killed in Florida by a Hispanic neighborhood watch volunteer.  His death led to protests nationwide.

    Some information for this report provided by Reuters

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Surena from: Canada
    August 24, 2014 8:27 AM
    The GREAT AMERICAN CIVILIZATION as sometimes narrated in Clint Eastwood movies. The existence of many crooked prosecutors, sheriffs and judges. Many botched trials. NRA is worshipped. One even must be wealthy to be able to study. In 2014 they are still KKK followers and those who are nostalgic of Uncle Tom's Cabin era whose representatives call the President of the USA "Liar" during his speech in Congress.

    by: riano baggy from: ina
    August 24, 2014 6:45 AM
    remember great seal of the United States " e pluribus unun means ONE FORM MANY please used this motto to solve the problem, when we clash by racial, this motto was tear.
    In Response

    by: Jax56 from: Colorado
    August 25, 2014 3:27 AM
    Uh... it's "e pluribus unum" and it translates as "From many, one."

    by: Anonymous
    August 23, 2014 5:17 PM
    Didn't think these comments were fair..one sided. I see

    by: jbogig@gmail.com Iceland from: Iceland
    August 23, 2014 2:56 PM
    When will USA be corageous enough as to have the police force without firearms ,that is in theyr car trunkr ,where they can not reach them whenever they feel like , but only take them into use with registered permition .
    To fine and put in jail should be enough to keep up the law.
    In Response

    by: Jax56 from: Colorado
    August 25, 2014 3:24 AM
    There's "courage" and then there's stupidity. This isn't the UK... gangbangers tend to be armed. Andy Griffith could wander around Mayberry unarmed in 1961, but today he'd be strapped and wear a Second Chance vest.

    by: Glk from: NYC
    August 23, 2014 8:51 AM
    95% police officers are white, the town is predominantly black, hence majority of the crimes are commuted by blacks. Why would anyone expect and equal arrest rate between whites and blacks?? Or laws of common sense do not apply here? Moreover, can anyone show or prove the record of black police officers applying to be on the force in ferguson and be denied due to their color?? No? My hat goes off to brave man and women of the ferguson police force for putting their lives at risk every day for the safety of that black majority of the residents. Most ppl seem to overlook that fact.

    by: jim from: michigan
    August 23, 2014 8:29 AM
    they already tore up the whole town, aint nothing left to steal or destory.

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