Shooting of Michael Brown – Black Lives Do Matter

Riot police stand guard as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Police in Ferguson fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters late on Wednesday, on the fourth night of demonstrations over the fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed black teenager Brown, 18, by a police officer on Saturday after what police said was a struggle with a gun in a police car. A witness in the case told local media that Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Riot police stand guard as demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Police in Ferguson fired several rounds of tear gas to disperse protesters late on Wednesday, on the fourth night of demonstrations over the fatal shooting last weekend of an unarmed black teenager Brown, 18, by a police officer on Saturday after what police said was a struggle with a gun in a police car. A witness in the case told local media that Brown had raised his arms to police to show that he was unarmed before being killed. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Shooting of Michael Brown

The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. Brown was an unarmed, 18-year-old African-American male, killed after being shot multiple times by an unnamed Ferguson police officer. The incident sparked protests and acts of vandalism in the St. Louis suburb, as well as national calls for an investigation.

Brown, who had recently graduated from high school, was days away from starting college and had no criminal record.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a civil rights investigation of the shooting on August 11, and the next day U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing condolences to Brown’s family, also committing federal resources to conduct an investigation.

Overview
On Saturday, August 9, at around 2:00 p.m., Michael Brown, 18, and Dorian Johnson, 22, both African American men, were walking to Brown’s grandmother’s house.  A Ferguson police officer drove up to them and ordered them to move off the street and onto the sidewalk. An altercation ensued, and a gun within the police officer’s vehicle was fired, after which Brown and Johnson began to flee. The officer left his vehicle and pursued them, then fired an unspecified number of shots, fatally wounding Brown. Brown died approximately 35 feet (11 m) from the police cruiser. Johnson was not injured.

Investigations
On August 10, Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, announced that their department would be in charge of the investigation, after receiving a request from Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to investigate the shooting. When the investigation is complete, the St. Louis County police will turn over the case to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, who will determine whether or not charges need to be filed.

The Ferguson Police department declined to name the officer involved in the shooting, citing concerns for his safety and refused to commit to a deadline for releasing a full autopsy report. On August 11, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a parallel civil rights investigation into the incident, and Attorney General Eric Holder instructed the Justice Department staff to monitor the developments.

According to the spokeswoman for the FBI’s St. Louis field office, the protests and riots played no role in the FBI’s decision to investigate.

Protests
On August 10, a day of vigils began peacefully, but some crowd members started to behave in an unruly manner after the candlelight vigil. Local police stations assembled approximately 150 officers in riot gear. The crowd then began looting businesses, vandalizing vehicles and confronting police who sought to block off access to several areas of the city. At least 12 businesses were looted or vandalized, a gas station was set on fire, leading to over 30 arrests. Many windows were broken and several nearby businesses closed on Monday. The people arrested face charges of assault, burglary and theft. Police used a variety of equipment, including riot gear and helicopters, to disperse the crowd by 2 a.m. Two police officers suffered minor injuries during the events.

On August 11, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd at the shell of the QuikTrip convenience store burnt out the night before. According to reports, gunshots were fired in Ferguson and five people were arrested. Wome protesters allegedly threw rocks at police. The police responded by firing tear gas and bean bag rounds upon those protesting, including State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Between August 12 and 13, police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at lines of protesters and reporters. At least seven protesters were arrested on the evening of August 12 and 13, after police told protesters to “‘go home’ or face arrest.” CNN cameras filmed an officer addressing a group of protestors by saying “Bring it, you fucking animals, bring it.” According to The Washington Post, the Ferguson Police Department “bears little demographic resemblance” to the mostly African-American community, which already harbored “suspicions of the law enforcement agency” preceding Brown’s shooting. An annual report last year by the office of Missouri’s attorney general concluded that Ferguson police were “twice as likely to arrest African Americans during traffic stops as they were whites.”

On August 12, several hundred protestors gathered in Clayton, the county seat, seeking criminal prosecution of the officer involved in the shooting. Protestors in Ferguson carried signs and many held their hands in the air while shouting “don’t shoot”. According to police, some protestors threw bottles at the officers, prompting the use of tear gas to disperse the crowd. The following day, a heavily-armed SWAT team of around 70 officers arrived at a protest demanding that protesters disperse. On the night of August 13, police used smoke bombs, flash grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Video footage of the events recorded by KARG Argus Radio shows Ferguson Police firing tear gas into a residential neighborhood and ordering the journalist to cease recording.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Statement by Attorney General Holder on Recent Shooting Incident in Ferguson, Missouri

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday regarding the shooting incident that took place Saturday afternoon in Ferguson, Missouri:

“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and US Attorney’s Office, have opened a concurrent, federal inquiry. The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right. I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

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President Obama Issues a Statement on the Death of Michael Brown

David Hudson August 12, 2014 05:02 PM EDT

This afternoon, President Obama issued a statement on the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot on Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri:

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/08/12/president-obama-issues-statement-death-michael-brown

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August 14, 2014

President Obama Statement on Displaced Iraqis and Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

(Excerpts)

I want to address something that’s been in the news over the last couple of days and that’s the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we’ve seen in the heartland of our country, as police have clashed with people protesting. Today, I’d like us all to take a step back and think about how we’re going to be moving forward.

This morning, I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been following it and been in communication with his team. I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown, along with local officials on the ground.

The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. I made clear to the Attorney General that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened, and to see that justice is done.

I also just spoke with Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground, and underscored that now is the time for all of us to reflect on what’s happened, and to find a way to come together going forward. He is going to be traveling to Ferguson. He is a good man and a fine governor, and I’m confident that, working together, he is going to be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure that public safety is maintained in an appropriate way.

Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again. And when something like this happens, the local authorities –- including the police -– have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death, and how they are protecting the people in their communities.

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 protestors in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. And 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 on what they see on the ground. Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority.

I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened.  There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred.  There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward.  That’s part of our democracy.  But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family.  We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law; a basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest; a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us; and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.

So now is the time for healing.  Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson.  Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done.  And I’ve asked that the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward.  They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what’s being done to make sure that happens.

Thanks very much, everybody.

END
12:58 P.M. EDT

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 doj.gov

Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on Latest Developments in Ferguson, Missouri

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Thursday following his meeting earlier today with President Obama to discuss the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

“This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

“For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

“By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/August/14-ag-854.html

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Attorney General Eric Holder Delivers Remarks at the St. Louis FBI Field Office

United States ~ Wednesday, August 20, 2014

We have brought to this area very experienced prosecutors, we have very experienced agents who are handling this matter, and doing so, I think, in a fine way.

I’m going to get briefed on more of the details about the investigation. I’ve been kept up to date, but there’s nothing that can replace actually coming to the office that’s handling the matter, and being able to look in the face the people who are, I think at this point, very ably handling this investigation.

Now, our investigation is different from that which the state is doing. We are looking for violations of federal, criminal civil rights statutes, which is different from what the local investigation is.

We have brought a substantial number of people here, of agents here, who have done a great job in the canvassing that they did over the past weekend, and continue to follow leads so that we can do a thorough and a fair job of making a determination about what happened on August the ninth. And I’m confident that through the ability of these people, we will be able to make a determination about whether or not any federal statutes have in fact been violated.

My hope also is that through the trip that I’m making out here today and by expressing the importance of the way in which this investigation is going, that hopefully will have a calming influence on the area, if people know that a federal, thorough investigation is being done–is being manned by these very capable people. My hope is that that will have—give people some degree of confidence that the appropriate things are being done by their federal government.

Again, we are doing something different, okay, than that which the state is doing–than what the county prosecutors are doing. But nevertheless, I think that what we are doing, hopefully, will have a positive impact.

Thank you.

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White House aides to attend Michael Brown funeral

August 24 at 5:45 AM By Associated Press

EDGARTOWN, Mass. — President Barack Obama is sending three White House aides to the funeral of Michael Brown, the young black man whose fatal shooting by a white police officer sparked days of racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Leading the group for Monday’s service will be the chairman of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force, Broderick Johnson. My Brother’s Keeper is an Obama initiative that aims to empower young minorities.

Also attending will be the deputy director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Marlon Marshall, and an adviser for the office, Heather Foster.

For more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/obama-sends-white-house-aides-to-ferguson-funeral/2014/08/23/88a1a284-2b25-11e4-8b10-7db129976abb_story.html

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BREAKING: Ferguson Cop Not Indicted For Michael Brown Shooting

NOVEMBER 24, 2014, 9:26 PM EST By DYLAN SCOTT – tpm

A St. Louis County grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson on any criminal charges in the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

The nationally televised announcement is the climax to a story that has captivated the nation and amplified racial tensions, with fierce clashes between protesters and police in a majority black town with a largely white police force. The incident and its aftermath resurfaced America’s long complicated history with race, violence, and law enforcement.

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch began the announcement with a detailed explanation of the investigation, at times criticizing the media’s “insatiable appetite” in following the case and “non-stop rumors on social media.”

“The duty of the grand jury is to separate fact from fiction,” he said. “They are the only people who have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence.”

The Brown family issued a statement, saying they were “profoundly disappointed” with the decision, while calling for peaceful protests.

“We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the family said. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”

About an hour later, President Barack Obama made a statement, urging for calm, even as nationally television broadcasts aired split screens of the already tense protests with protesters attempting to overturn a police car, reports of gunfire and gas being deployed.

“I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words. Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer,” Obama said. “No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want to lead to incredible change, positive change.”

For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-verdict

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Remarks by the President After Announcement of the Decision by the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri 

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

10:08 P.M. EST

     THE PRESIDENT:  As you know, a few moments ago, the grand jury deliberating the death of Michael Brown issued its decision. It’s an outcome that, either way, was going to be subject of intense disagreement not only in Ferguson, but across America.  So I want to just say a few words suggesting how we might move forward.

First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law.  And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make.  There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry.  It’s an understandable reaction.  But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully.  Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words:  “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer.  No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain.  I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.”  Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone.  We should be honoring their wishes.

I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur.  Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day.  They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law.  As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence — distinguish them from the vast majority who just want their voices heard around legitimate issues in terms of how communities and law enforcement interact.

Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation.  The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color.  Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country.  And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates.  The good news is we know there are things we can do to help.  And I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement.

That means working with law enforcement officials to make sure their ranks are representative of the communities they serve.  We know that makes a difference.  It means working to train officials so that law enforcement conducts itself in a way that is fair to everybody.  It means enlisting the community actively on what should be everybody’s goal, and that is to prevent crime.

And there are good people on all sides of this debate, as well as in both Republican and Democratic parties, that are interested not only in lifting up best practices — because we know that there are communities who have been able to deal with this in an effective way — but also who are interested in working with this administration and local and state officials to start tackling much-needed criminal justice reform.

So those should be the lessons that we draw from these tragic events.  We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson, this is an issue for America.  We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades.  I’ve witnessed that in my own life.  And to deny that progress I think is to deny America’s capacity for change.

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Federal Ferguson Investigation Will Remain Independent, Holder Insists

November 25, 201410:02 AM ET Carrie Johnson- NPR

This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

Attorney General Eric Holder says “far more must be done to create enduring trust” between police and communities they serve, even as his Justice Department continues to investigate possible discriminatory police actions in Ferguson, Mo.

Civil rights lawyers at Justice working alongside FBI agents have also been examining whether white officer Darren Wilson intentionally violated the civil rights of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the unarmed black man he shot dead Aug. 9.

On Tuesday, Holder spoke about the DOJ’s ongoing efforts emphasizing that both federal investigations will “continue to be thorough, continue to be independent and they remain ongoing.”

He did not provide a timeline for the investigations, but said they “will be conducted rigorously and in a timely manner so that we can move forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust, to rebuild understanding, and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members.”

Proving that Wilson, who was cleared Monday by a St. Louis County grand jury, violated federal criminal law will be difficult, DOJ veterans say.

But in the aftermath of the local grand jury announcement, Holder has insisted the federal probe of the policeman is ongoing and independent of St. Louis prosecutors.

“And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions,” Holder said in a statement Monday.

Mediators from the Justice Department Community Relations Service have been on the ground in Ferguson trying to ease tensions since August. And the DOJ community-oriented policing unit has been trying to train local law enforcement to respect protesters and de-escalate tensions. Scattered violence and scenes of burning businesses in the area overnight Monday mean that work is far from complete.

Justice Department lawyers are making slow but steady progress on another facet of their task in Ferguson: investigating allegations of unconstitutional policing by law enforcement there.

Holder tipped his hand last month, publicly calling for “wholesale changes” in the Ferguson force. His DOJ investigators have opened more than two-dozen investigations into biased policing tactics and patterns of excessive force in places from Albuquerque to New Orleans to Newark.

Such cases often end in lawsuits or court-enforceable agreements to change hiring, training and traffic stop actions.

Vanita Gupta, the acting leader of the civil rights division at Justice, said at a news conference last month that the goal of such cases is to “ensure that the city has an effective, accountable police department that controls crime, ensures respect for the Constitution, and earns the respect of the public it is charged with protecting.”

Holder also said Tuesday he was disappointed that some reacted with violence rather than heeding the call for non-violence issued by Brown’s parents.

For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/11/25/366527106/federal-ferguson-investigation-will-remain-independent-holder-insists

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Statement by Attorney General Holder on the Ongoing Situation in Ferguson, Missouri

Attorney General Eric Holder made the following statement today on the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

“Good afternoon.  I have been briefed by members of the Justice Department and I wanted to provide a brief update of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts arising from the events in Ferguson, Missouri.  I’ve been briefed today by the COPS director, Ron Davis, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Molly Moran, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Kappelhoff and members of my staff, all of whom are here with me now.

“They are overseeing the federal investigations into the shooting of Michael Brown as well as the investigation that we are doing of the Ferguson Police Department.  I want to emphasize that we have two investigations that are ongoing.  As I’ve said many times before and reiterated in my statement last night, the department’s investigations will continue to be thorough, they will continue to be independent and they remain ongoing.  They will be conducted rigorously and in a timely manner so we can move forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust, to rebuild understanding and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members.

“Last night and throughout the day, I have been briefed on events in and around Ferguson.  I was disappointed that some members of the community resorted to violence rather than respecting what I thought were the really heartfelt words of Michael Brown Sr. and the wishes he expressed about how he wanted his son’s memory to be honored with nonviolence. It is clear that acts of violence threaten to drown out those that have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators and those acts of violence cannot and will not be condoned.

“By contrast, I’m very encouraged that some of the more peaceful demonstrations last night as well as today have occurred and have been in keeping with Mr. Brown’s request.  I would remind demonstrators of our history that those, the way in which we have made progress in this country is when we have seen peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations that has led to the change that has been the most long lasting and the most pervasive.

“I’ve asked the COPS director, Ron Davis, to continue to confer with local law enforcement and to conduct an after action review so we can develop strategies for identifying and isolating the criminal elements from peaceful protesters.  Additionally, I have instructed department officials to continue to make contact with leaders of the peaceful protesters and to seek their assistance in isolating those individuals who are inclined towards violence.  We’ve had a good ongoing dialogue with peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson.  I’ve been very heartened to hear about the good work that our community relations service has done as well as people under Mark in particular.  And I’ve instructed them to maintain those levels of communications and keep those avenues of communications open.

“I really embrace those who have been proactively intervening to stop acts of violence within their midst and I encourage them to continue to exercise this important leadership.  I know that that is not an easy thing to do but it was very heartening to hear about people last night trying to stop those other people who were trying to loot and trying to destroy businesses and burn things.  Those people who took it upon themselves to try to stop those kinds of things are in fact heroes in my mind.

“Michael Brown’s tragic death has revealed a deep distrust between some in the Ferguson community and its police force.  It also developed a need to develop and widely disseminate law enforcement best practices for responding to public demonstrations.  The Department of Justice has begun this work and will continue to work with communities around the country in this regard.  The reality is that what we see in Ferguson is not restricted to Ferguson.  There are other communities around this country that have these same issues that have to be dealt with and we at the Justice Department are determined to do all that we can to bridge those divides.

For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/statement-attorney-general-holder-ongoing-situation-ferguson-missouri

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President Obama remarks on “Black Lives Matter” is a social media movement

“ I want to drive home one point, and that is the relationship between race and the criminal justice system, because this is where sometimes politics intrudes.

“Black Lives Matter” is a social media movement that had tried to gel around Ferguson and the Eric Gardner case and some other cases that came up. And very rapidly, it was posited as being in opposition to the police. And sometimes, like any of these loose organizations, some people pop off and say dumb things. And on the other hand, though, it started being lifted up as these folks are opposed to police and they’re opposed to cops, and all lives matter. So the notion was somehow saying black lives matter was reverse racism, or suggesting that other people’s lives didn’t matter, police officers’ lives didn’t matter.

And whenever we get bogged down in that kind of discussion, we know where that goes. That’s just down the old track. So let me just suggest this. I think everybody understands all lives matter. Everybody wants strong, effective law enforcement. Everybody wants their kids to be safe when they’re walking to school. Nobody wants to see police officers, who are doing their job fairly, hurt. Everybody understands it’s a dangerous job.

I think the reason that the organizers used the phrase “Black lives matter” was not because they said they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter; rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that is happening in the African American community that’s not happening in other communities. And that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.

I forget which French writer said there was a law that was passed that really was equal because both rich and poor were forbidden from stealing loaves of bread and sleeping under the bridge. That’s not a good definition of equality.

There is a specific concern as to whether African Americans are sometimes not treated in particular jurisdictions fairly or subject to excessive force more frequently. I think it’s important for those who are concerned about that to back it up with data, not anecdote; to not paint with a broad brush; to understand the overwhelming majority of law enforcement is doing the right thing and wants to do the right thing; to recognize that police officers have a really tough job and we’re sending them into really tough neighborhoods that sometimes are really dangerous, and they’ve got to make split-second decisions. And so we shouldn’t be too sanctimonious about situations that sometimes can be ambiguous.

But having said all that, we as a society, particularly given our history, have to take this seriously. And one of the ways of avoiding the politics of this and losing the moment is everybody just stepping back for a second and understanding that the African American community is not just making this up, and it’s not just something being politicized; it’s real and there’s a history behind it. And we have to take it seriously. And it’s incumbent then on the activist to also take seriously the tough job that police have. And that’s one of the things that the post-Ferguson task force did. We had activists who were marching in Ferguson with police chiefs and law enforcement, sitting down and figuring this stuff out.

And just assuming good faith in other people — going to the issue of people being cynical — I think is important. I’ve rarely gotten much accomplished assuming the worst in other people. Usually it works better if I assume the best. So I just wanted to make that point.’

10/22/15 President Obama 

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US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1863-1963 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

US Minorities Civil Rights Timeline 1964-2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

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50 thoughts on “Shooting of Michael Brown – Black Lives Do Matter

  1. WH

    Friday, August 15, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama vacations in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

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  2. Shooting of Michael Brown

    The shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, United States. Brown was an unarmed, 18-year-old African-American male, killed after being shot multiple times by an unnamed Ferguson police officer. The incident sparked protests and acts of vandalism in the St. Louis suburb, as well as national calls for an investigation.

    Brown, who had recently graduated from high school, was days away from starting college and had no criminal record.

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a civil rights investigation of the shooting on August 11, and the next day U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement expressing condolences to Brown’s family, also committing federal resources to conduct an investigation.

    Overview
    On Saturday, August 9, at around 2:00 p.m., Michael Brown, 18, and Dorian Johnson, 22, both African American men, were walking to Brown’s grandmother’s house. A Ferguson police officer drove up to them and ordered them to move off the street and onto the sidewalk. An altercation ensued, and a gun within the police officer’s vehicle was fired, after which Brown and Johnson began to flee. The officer left his vehicle and pursued them, then fired an unspecified number of shots, fatally wounding Brown. Brown died approximately 35 feet (11 m) from the police cruiser. Johnson was not injured.

    Investigations
    On August 10, Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, announced that their department would be in charge of the investigation, after receiving a request from Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson to investigate the shooting. When the investigation is complete, the St. Louis County police will turn over the case to St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch, who will determine whether or not charges need to be filed.

    The Ferguson Police department declined to name the officer involved in the shooting, citing concerns for his safety and refused to commit to a deadline for releasing a full autopsy report. On August 11, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) opened a parallel civil rights investigation into the incident, and Attorney General Eric Holder instructed the Justice Department staff to monitor the developments.

    According to the spokeswoman for the FBI’s St. Louis field office, the protests and riots played no role in the FBI’s decision to investigate.

    Protests
    On August 10, a day of vigils began peacefully, but some crowd members started to behave in an unruly manner after the candlelight vigil. Local police stations assembled approximately 150 officers in riot gear. The crowd then began looting businesses, vandalizing vehicles and confronting police who sought to block off access to several areas of the city. At least 12 businesses were looted or vandalized, a gas station was set on fire, leading to over 30 arrests. Many windows were broken and several nearby businesses closed on Monday. The people arrested face charges of assault, burglary and theft. Police used a variety of equipment, including riot gear and helicopters, to disperse the crowd by 2 a.m. Two police officers suffered minor injuries during the events.

    On August 11, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a crowd at the shell of the QuikTrip convenience store burnt out the night before. According to reports, gunshots were fired in Ferguson and five people were arrested. Wome protesters allegedly threw rocks at police. The police responded by firing tear gas and bean bag rounds upon those protesting, including State Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal. Between August 12 and 13, police officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets at lines of protesters and reporters. At least seven protesters were arrested on the evening of August 12 and 13, after police told protesters to “‘go home’ or face arrest.” CNN cameras filmed an officer addressing a group of protestors by saying “Bring it, you fucking animals, bring it.” According to The Washington Post, the Ferguson Police Department “bears little demographic resemblance” to the mostly African-American community, which already harbored “suspicions of the law enforcement agency” preceding Brown’s shooting. An annual report last year by the office of Missouri’s attorney general concluded that Ferguson police were “twice as likely to arrest African Americans during traffic stops as they were whites.”

    On August 12, several hundred protestors gathered in Clayton, the county seat, seeking criminal prosecution of the officer involved in the shooting. Protestors in Ferguson carried signs and many held their hands in the air while shouting “don’t shoot”. According to police, some protestors threw bottles at the officers, prompting the use of tear gas to disperse the crowd. The following day, a heavily-armed SWAT team of around 70 officers arrived at a protest demanding that protesters disperse. On the night of August 13, police used smoke bombs, flash grenades, rubber bullets, and tear gas to disperse the crowd. Video footage of the events recorded by KARG Argus Radio shows Ferguson Police firing tear gas into a residential neighborhood and ordering the journalist to cease recording.

    For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Michael_Brown

    • President Obama Issues a Statement on the Death of Michael Brown

      David Hudson August 12, 2014 05:02 PM EDT

      This afternoon, President Obama issued a statement on the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was fatally shot on Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri:

      The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

      READ MORE: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/08/12/president-obama-issues-statement-death-michael-brown

    • August 14, 2014

      President Obama Statement on Displaced Iraqis and Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri
      Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

      (Excerpts)

      I want to address something that’s been in the news over the last couple of days and that’s the situation in Ferguson, Missouri. I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we’ve seen in the heartland of our country, as police have clashed with people protesting. Today, I’d like us all to take a step back and think about how we’re going to be moving forward.

      This morning, I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who has been following it and been in communication with his team. I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown, along with local officials on the ground.

      The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. I made clear to the Attorney General that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened, and to see that justice is done.

      I also just spoke with Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground, and underscored that now is the time for all of us to reflect on what’s happened, and to find a way to come together going forward. He is going to be traveling to Ferguson. He is a good man and a fine governor, and I’m confident that, working together, he is going to be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure that public safety is maintained in an appropriate way.

      Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again. And when something like this happens, the local authorities –- including the police -– have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death, and how they are protecting the people in their communities.

      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 protestors in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. And 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 on what they see on the ground. Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority.

      I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred. There are going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That’s part of our democracy. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and that includes belief in equality under the law; a basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest; a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us; and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.

      So now is the time for healing. Now is the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson. Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done. And I’ve asked that the Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward. They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what’s being done to make sure that happens.

      Thanks very much, everybody.

      END
      12:58 P.M. EDT

    • Thursday, August 14, 2014 doj.gov

      Statement by Attorney General Eric Holder on Latest Developments in Ferguson, Missouri

      Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Thursday following his meeting earlier today with President Obama to discuss the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

      “This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

      “For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

      “By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

      “At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

      For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/August/14-ag-854.html

    • Dem pushes Ferguson machine gun bill

      8/14/14 11:10 AM EDT By ANNA PALMER and JAKE SHERMAN – POLITICO

      The mayhem in Ferguson, Missouri, will be arriving shortly on Capitol Hill.

      A House Democrat from Georgia plans to introduce the first piece of legislation responding to the shooting in the suburb of St. Louis that would focus on stopping a program providing machine guns and free military equipment to local law enforcement.

      Rep. Hank Johnson sent a “Dear Colleague” letter Thursday morning alerting lawmakers that he is putting forward the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. The action comes in the wake of a policeman shooting an unarmed black man that has created an increasingly tense relationship between the police and the city’s largely African-American population. The response of local police, including the use of tear gas on protesters, has been criticized as overly aggressive.

      “Our main streets should be a place for business, families, and relaxation, not tanks and M16s,” Johnson wrote. “Unfortunately, due to a Department of Defense (DOD) Program that transfers surplus DOD equipment to state and local law enforcement, our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces.”

      Further, Johnson said the legislation would “end the free transfers of certain aggressive military equipment to local law enforcement and ensure that all equipment can be accounted for.

      Johnson’s legislation is focused on a Pentagon surplus program that has allowed cities across the nation to acquire military equipment. like mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.

      The Friends Committee on National Legislation and the American Civil Liberties Union endorse the legislation.

    • Justice Department division leading Ferguson investigation hasn’t had a director in more than a year

      In March, the Senate filibustered Obama’s pick to be the nation’s top civil rights lawyer because of election-year politics — and what’s happening in Missouri is unlikely to change that

      8/14/14 By Meredith Shiner, Yahoo News

      The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, which has been tasked by Attorney General Eric Holder to help lead an investigation into the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, has been without a confirmed leader since July 2013.

      And because of Congressional gridlock and election-year politics, it’s likely that the civil rights department will not get a confirmed assistant attorney general any time soon.

      In March, the Senate blocked President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the division, civil rights lawyer Debo Adegbile. Seven Democrats joined Republicans in opposing Adegbile because of his leadership role at the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, which in 2009 submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court on behalf of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted in the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia policeman.

      Major police unions lobbied senators, especially in the Philadelphia area, to vote against proceeding on the Adegbile vote on the grounds that he sympathized with a cop-killer. A mix of senators up for re-election in 2014, red-state Democrats, and those representing Philadelphia-area constituents voted to filibuster the nomination.

      Democratic Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Chris Coons of Delaware, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Mark Pryor of Arkansas and John Walsh of Montana all voted “no” on proceeding with the Adegbile nomination. At the time, Coons, Pryor and Walsh were in active re-election campaigns, though Walsh has since ended his campaign amid a plagiarism scandal.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/ferguson-clashes-highlight-a-leadership-vacuum-at-the-department-of-justice-s-civil-rights-division-190152728.html

    • August 14, 2014

      Statement by National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice on Iraq

      Today, Iraqis took another major step forward in uniting their country. We commend Prime Minister Maliki for his decision to support Prime Minister-designate Haider al-Abadi in his efforts to form a new government in line with the Iraqi constitution. We have heard from a wide range of leaders across the Iraqi political spectrum who have expressed their commitment to work with Dr. Abadi to form a broad, inclusive government with an agenda that can address the needs and legitimate aspirations of the Iraqi people. In the last few days, we have also welcomed statements of support from all over the world for the new Prime Minister-designate. These are encouraging developments that we hope can set Iraq on a new path and unite its people against the threat presented by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The United States remains committed to a strong partnership with Iraq and the Iraqi people.

    • Turmoil, tear gas give way to hope in Ferguson

      8/15/14 Associated Press By ALAN SCHER ZAGIER

      FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — County police in riot gear and armored tanks gave way to state troopers walking side-by-side with thousands of peaceful protesters after nearly a week of unrest and mounting public tension in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teen was shot by a city police officer.

      The dramatic shift Thursday came after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon assigned oversight of the protests to the state Highway Patrol, stripping local police from the St. Louis County Police Department of their authority after four days of clashes with furious crowds protesting the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

      “All they did was look at us and shoot tear gas,” said Pedro Smith, 41, who has participated in the nightly protests. “This is totally different. Now we’re being treated with respect.”

      The more tolerant response came as President Barack Obama spoke publicly for the first time about Saturday’s fatal shooting — and the subsequent violence that shocked the nation and threatened to tear apart Ferguson, a town of 21,000 that is nearly 70 percent black and patrolled by a nearly all-white police force.

      Obama said there was “no excuse” for violence either against the police or by officers against peaceful protesters.

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/turmoil-tear-gas-way-hope-ferguson-053336976.html

    • Senate Armed Services chief to review Pentagon program arming cops

      08/15/14 03:26 PM EDT By Kristina Wong – TheHill

      The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee intends to review a Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to police agencies, following the use of controversial police tactics in Ferguson, Mo.

      “Before the defense authorization bill comes to the Senate floor, we will review this program to determine if equipment provided by the Defense Department is being used as intended,” Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said in a statement Friday.

      “Congress established this program out of real concern that local law enforcement agencies were literally outgunned by drug criminals,” he added.
      “We intended this equipment to keep police officers and their communities safe from heavily armed drug gangs and terrorist incidents.”

      Levin’s move comes after police officers in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, used military vehicles and equipment acquired by the Pentagon to quell protests following the shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black teenager.

      Images of police riding atop armed-personnel carriers and mine-resistant ambush protected vehicles (MRAPs), and dressed in camouflage, led critics on both the left and the right to press lawmakers to end the Pentagon program.

      Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/215274-levin-to-review-pentagon-program-arming-cops

    • KKK Raising Money for Police Officer Who Shot African-American Teen

      August 13, 2014 By Don Terry – splc

      The one thing the racially charged and besieged city of Ferguson, Mo. does not need or want to add to the combustible mix of rubber bullets, snarling police dogs and clouds of tear gas that have filled its streets for three days is the Ku Klux Klan.

      But the Klan –– desperate for publicity and any opportunity to spread hate and terror –– is climbing atop the powder keg that Ferguson has become following the police killing of an unarmed college-bound black teenager last Saturday.

      The South Carolina-based New Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan says its Missouri chapter is raising money for the still unidentified white police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, 18, who was scheduled to begin college classes this week.

      “We are setting up a reward/fund for the police officer who shot this thug,” the Klan group said in an email. “He is a hero! We need more white cops who are anti-Zog and willing to put Jewish controlled black thugs in their place. Most cops are cowards and do nothing while 90% of interracial crime is black (and non-white) on white.”

      In a Tuesday editorial about the case headlined “The Death of Michael Brown: Racial History Behind the Ferguson Protests,” The New York Times expressed hope that the FBI will be able “to answer the many questions surrounding the death” of the teenager” while focusing on St. Louis’ history of racial problems.

      For more: http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/08/13/kkk-raising-money-for-police-officer-who-shot-african-american-teen/

    • Missouri Police Captain Expresses Solidarity With Ferguson At Rally

      AUGUST 17, 2014, 5:33 PM EDT By CAITLIN MACNEAL – tpm

      Missouri state Highway Patrol Cpt. Ron Johnson, who is leading police operations in Ferguson, addressed the crowd at a rally for Michael Brown in a Ferguson church, expressing sympathy for the Brown family and solidarity with the community.

      “My heart goes out to you, and I say that I’m sorry. And I wear this uniform, and I should stand up here and say that I’m sorry,” Johnson began in his speech at the Greater Grace Church.

      Johnson grew up in Ferguson, and told the community members gathered to honor Brown that he would continue to protect them.

      “This is my neighborhood. You are my family. You are my friends. And I am you,” he said. “I will stand and protect you. I will protect your right to protest.”

      He remarked that he arrived at the memorial held by Rev. Al Sharpton to cheers and clapping.

      “This is what the media needs to put on TV,” he said.

      Johnson also said that he met with Michael Brown’s family Saturday night.

      “The last 24 hours have been tough for me,” he said. “My heart is heavy because last night I met some members of Michael Brown’s family.”

      “They brought tears to my eyes and shame to my heart,” he continued.

      For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/ron-johnson-michael-brown-family

    • President Obama Provides an Update on the Latest in Iraq and Ferguson, Missouri

      Published on Aug 18, 2014

      This afternoon at the White House, President Obama delivered a statement on the latest developments in Iraq and in Ferguson, Missouri — two issues he has been following closely each day.

      First, the President relayed to the nation that the American operation in Iraq has effectively protected our personnel by stopping the terrorist group ISIL from advancing on the city of Erbil, and by helping Iraqi forces to recapture the largest dam in Iraq:

      The Mosul Dam fell under terrorist control earlier this month and is directly tied to our objective of protecting Americans in Iraq. If that dam was breached, it could have proven catastrophic, with floods that would have threatened the lives of thousands of civilians and endangered our embassy compound in Baghdad. Iraqi and Kurdish forces took the lead on the ground and performed with courage and determination. So this operation demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together in taking the fight to ISIL. If they continue to do so, they will have the strong support of the United States of America.
      President Obama also noted that the U.S. is building an international coalition to address the humanitarian crisis in northern Iraq:

      Even as we’ve worked to help many thousands of Yazidis escape the siege of Mount Sinjar, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been displaced by ISIL’s violence and many more are still at risk. Going forward, the United States will work with the Iraqi government, as well as partners like the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Italy and Australia, to get food and water to people in need and to bring long-term relief to people who have been driven from their homes.
      The long-term strategy against ISIL requires an inclusive Iraqi government that can unite all of Iraq’s communities against ISIL’s terrorism. The President outlined the “historic progress” Iraq has made toward this goal and the work that remains:

      Over the next few weeks, Dr. Abadi needs to complete the work of forming a new, broad-based, inclusive Iraqi government, one that develops a national program to address the interests of all Iraqis. Without that progress, extremists like ISIL can continue to prey upon Iraq’s divisions. With that new government in place, Iraqis will be able to unite the country against the threat from ISIL, and they will be able to look forward to increased support not just from the United States but from other countries in the region and around the world.
      “There should be no doubt that the United States military will continue to carry out the limited missions that I’ve authorized — protecting our personnel and facilities in Iraq in both Erbil and Baghdad, and providing humanitarian support, as we did on Mount Sinjar,” he said.

      After meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder this afternoon, President Obama also provided an update on the situation in Ferguson, Missouri and the federal investigation into the tragic death of 18-year-old Michael Brown:

      The Justice Department has opened an independent federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown. They are on the ground and, along with the FBI, they are devoting substantial resources to that investigation. The Attorney General himself will be traveling to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with the FBI agents and DOJ personnel conducting the federal criminal investigation, and he will receive an update from them on their progress. He will also be meeting with other leaders in the community whose support is so critical to bringing about peace and calm in Ferguson.
      Ronald Davis, the Director of the DOJ’s Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services — or COPS — is also traveling to Ferguson tomorrow to work with police officials on the ground. We’ve also had experts from the DOJ’s Community Relations Service working in Ferguson since the days after the shooting to foster conversations among local stakeholders and reduce tensions among the community.

      For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/photos-and-video/video/2014/08/18/president-speaks-iraq-and-ferguson#transcript

    • From Eric Holder: A message to the people of Ferguson

      8/19/14 by Eric H. Holder Jr. – stloday.com

      Since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, the nation and the world have witnessed the unrest that has gripped Ferguson, Mo. At the core of these demonstrations is a demand for answers about the circumstances of this young man’s death and a broader concern about the state of our criminal justice system.
      At a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn — in a fair and thorough manner — exactly what happened.

      Wednesday, I will be in Ferguson to be briefed on the federal civil rights investigation that I have closely monitored since I launched it more than one week ago. I will meet personally with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to receive detailed briefings on the status of this case.

      The full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. This inquiry will take time to complete, but we have already taken significant steps. Approximately 40 FBI agents and some of the Civil Rights Division’s most experienced prosecutors have been deployed to lead this process, with the assistance of the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed in connection with this matter. On Monday, at my direction, a team of federal medical examiners conducted an independent autopsy.

      We understand the need for an independent investigation, and we hope that the independence and thoroughness of our investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in Ferguson. In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Although these acts have been committed by a very small minority — and, in many cases, by individuals from outside Ferguson — they seriously undermine, rather than advance, the cause of justice. And they interrupt the deeper conversation that the legitimate demonstrators are trying to advance.

      The Justice Department will defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate and for the media to cover a story that must be told. But violence cannot be condoned. I urge the citizens of Ferguson who have been peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions and sow discord.

      For more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/opinion/a-message-to-the-people-of-ferguson/article_ea8b7358-67a3-5187-af8c-169567f27a0d.html

    • The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Race/Off (August 26, 2014)

      Published on Aug 27, 2014

      The shooting of an unarmed black teenager by the police in Ferguson, Missouri strikes a racial nerve in the country, but Fox News manages to remain colorblind.

    • Ferguson Decision: Attorney General Eric Holder Appeals For Peace

      November 21, 2014 9:50 AM By MIKE LEVINE – ABC News

      While a Missouri grand jury secretly decides whether to charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, the nation’s top law enforcement official today called on concerned Americans to appreciate “the gravity” of the matter and express themselves peacefully.

      “History has … shown us that the most successful and enduring movements for change are those that adhere to non-aggression and nonviolence,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a video released by the Justice Department.

      The message comes just days after the FBI — an agency overseen by Holder — warned law enforcement agencies across the country that extremist, violent protesters could hijack otherwise peaceful demonstrations nationwide. And it comes one day after Brown’s own father issued his own call for calm.

      “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer,” Michael Brown Sr. said in a public service announcement. “No matter what the grand jury decides, I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain.”

      Holder echoed that sentiment in his message today, saying recent protests have highlighted “real and significant underlying issues involving police practices, implicit bias, and pervasive community distrust.”

      For more: http://news.yahoo.com/ferguson-decision-attorney-general-eric-holder-appeals-peace-145000621.html;_ylt=AwrSyCQTa3JUqXQA9CXQtDMD

    • Obama calls for calm in Ferguson

      By LUCY MCCALMONT 11/23/14 11:04 AM EST

      President Barack Obama says he’ll “wait and see” whether he goes to Ferguson, Missouri, but urged peaceful protests as the country awaits a grand jury decision on the case of the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.

      “First and foremost, keep protests peaceful,” Obama said in an interview with George Stephanopoulos aired Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”

      “You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust,” he said, “but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”
      During the summer, the president said, “a few thugs who might be looking for an excuse to loot or to commit vandalism” overran peaceful protests in Ferguson.

      As for whether he’ll travel to Ferguson himself, Obama said, “I’m going to wait and see how the response comes about.”

      Obama said he’s called Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to ensure that a response is in place for “careful and appropriate” action if there’s violence.

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/obama-calls-for-calm-in-ferguson-113120.html

    • Why Ferguson decision is about much more than Darren Wilson or Mike Brown

      All eyes are on Ferguson, Mo., where a grand jury decision is expected to be announced Monday night. For many Americans, there’s much more at stake than the fate of one police officer.

      NOVEMBER 24, 2014 By Mark Trumbull – ChristianScienceMonitor

      For many black Americans across the country, a grand jury decision about whether to indict a white police officer in Missouri will be about the shooting death of Michael Brown but also about something bigger – what they see as a broader pattern of excessive use of force by police against African-American males.

      The death of Mr. Brown, an 18-year-old who had recently graduated from high school, shocked the St. Louis area community of Ferguson in August and resulted in protests there and in other US cities.

      Now, according to news reports Monday, a decision from a grand jury is expected to be announced tonight on whether police officer Darren Wilson will face criminal charges in the teenager’s death.

      But although Brown’s death was a catalyst, those who are preparing to protest again say they’re on the march to change a culture of police bias and racial tension – a movement they say will go on whatever the outcome in Brown’s case.

      For more: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2014/1124/Why-Ferguson-decision-is-about-much-more-than-Darren-Wilson-or-Mike-Brown

    • BREAKING: Ferguson Cop Not Indicted For Michael Brown Shooting

      NOVEMBER 24, 2014, 9:26 PM EST By DYLAN SCOTT – tpm

      A St. Louis County grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson on any criminal charges in the Aug. 9 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

      The nationally televised announcement is the climax to a story that has captivated the nation and amplified racial tensions, with fierce clashes between protesters and police in a majority black town with a largely white police force. The incident and its aftermath resurfaced America’s long complicated history with race, violence, and law enforcement.

      St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch began the announcement with a detailed explanation of the investigation, at times criticizing the media’s “insatiable appetite” in following the case and “non-stop rumors on social media.”

      “The duty of the grand jury is to separate fact from fiction,” he said. “They are the only people who have heard and examined every witness and every piece of evidence.”

      The Brown family issued a statement, saying they were “profoundly disappointed” with the decision, while calling for peaceful protests.

      “We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions,” the family said. “While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen.”

      About an hour later, President Barack Obama made a statement, urging for calm, even as nationally television broadcasts aired split screens of the already tense protests with protesters attempting to overturn a police car, reports of gunfire and gas being deployed.

      “I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words. Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer,” Obama said. “No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want to lead to incredible change, positive change.”

      For more: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/news/ferguson-michael-brown-shooting-verdict

      • November 24, 2014

        Remarks by the President After Announcement of the Decision by the Grand Jury in Ferguson, Missouri

        James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

        10:08 P.M. EST

        THE PRESIDENT: As you know, a few moments ago, the grand jury deliberating the death of Michael Brown issued its decision. It’s an outcome that, either way, was going to be subject of intense disagreement not only in Ferguson, but across America. So I want to just say a few words suggesting how we might move forward.

        First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction. But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words: “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.” Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes.

        I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur. Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence — distinguish them from the vast majority who just want their voices heard around legitimate issues in terms of how communities and law enforcement interact.

        Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation. The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country. And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates. The good news is we know there are things we can do to help. And I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement.

        That means working with law enforcement officials to make sure their ranks are representative of the communities they serve. We know that makes a difference. It means working to train officials so that law enforcement conducts itself in a way that is fair to everybody. It means enlisting the community actively on what should be everybody’s goal, and that is to prevent crime.

        And there are good people on all sides of this debate, as well as in both Republican and Democratic parties, that are interested not only in lifting up best practices — because we know that there are communities who have been able to deal with this in an effective way — but also who are interested in working with this administration and local and state officials to start tackling much-needed criminal justice reform.

        For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/24/remarks-president-after-announcement-decision-grand-jury-ferguson-missou

      • Congressional Black Caucus denounces Ferguson grand jury

        11/24/14 10:22 PM EST Updated 11/25/14 8:52 AM EST By KENDALL BREITMAN – politico

        Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday called the grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson a “slap in the face” for those seeking justice for the death of Michael Brown

        “The Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown is a miscarriage of justice,” CBC Chair Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) said in a statement released after the decision was announced late Monday evening in Missouri. “It is a slap in the face to Americans nationwide who continue to hope and believe that justice will prevail.”

        “This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that Black lives hold no value; that you may kill Black men in this country without consequences or repercussions,” Fudge’s statement continued. “This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of Black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”

        Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/11/congressional-black-caucus-denounces-ferguson-grand-jury-113155.html

      • Monday, November 24, 2014 justice.gov

        Attorney General Holder Statement on the Conclusion of the Grand Jury Proceeding in the Shooting of Michael Brown

        Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Monday regarding the conclusion of the St. Louis County grand jury proceeding in the shooting of Michael Brown:

        “While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing. Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now. Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence. And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions.

        “Michael Brown’s death was a tragedy. This incident has sparked a national conversation about the need to ensure confidence between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve. While constructive efforts are underway in Ferguson and communities nationwide, far more must be done to create enduring trust. The Department will continue to work with law enforcement, civil rights, faith and community leaders across the country to foster effective relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve and to improve fairness in the criminal justice system overall. In addition, the Department continues to investigate allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department.

        “Though there will be disagreement with the grand jury’s decision not to indict, this feeling should not lead to violence. Those who decide to participate in demonstrations should remember the wishes of Michael Brown’s parents, who have asked that remembrances of their son be conducted peacefully. It does not honor his memory to engage in violence or looting. In the coming days, it will likewise be important for local law enforcement authorities to respect the rights of demonstrators, and deescalate tensions by avoiding excessive displays—and uses—of force.”

      • Federal Ferguson Investigation Will Remain Independent, Holder Insists

        November 25, 201410:02 AM ET Carrie Johnson- NPR

        This post was updated at 5:30 p.m. ET

        Attorney General Eric Holder says “far more must be done to create enduring trust” between police and communities they serve, even as his Justice Department continues to investigate possible discriminatory police actions in Ferguson, Mo.

        Civil rights lawyers at Justice working alongside FBI agents have also been examining whether white officer Darren Wilson intentionally violated the civil rights of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the unarmed black man he shot dead Aug. 9.

        On Tuesday, Holder spoke about the DOJ’s ongoing efforts emphasizing that both federal investigations will “continue to be thorough, continue to be independent and they remain ongoing.”

        He did not provide a timeline for the investigations, but said they “will be conducted rigorously and in a timely manner so that we can move forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust, to rebuild understanding, and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members.”

        Proving that Wilson, who was cleared Monday by a St. Louis County grand jury, violated federal criminal law will be difficult, DOJ veterans say.

        But in the aftermath of the local grand jury announcement, Holder has insisted the federal probe of the policeman is ongoing and independent of St. Louis prosecutors.

        “And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions,” Holder said in a statement Monday.

        Mediators from the Justice Department Community Relations Service have been on the ground in Ferguson trying to ease tensions since August. And the DOJ community-oriented policing unit has been trying to train local law enforcement to respect protesters and de-escalate tensions. Scattered violence and scenes of burning businesses in the area overnight Monday mean that work is far from complete.

        Justice Department lawyers are making slow but steady progress on another facet of their task in Ferguson: investigating allegations of unconstitutional policing by law enforcement there.

        Holder tipped his hand last month, publicly calling for “wholesale changes” in the Ferguson force. His DOJ investigators have opened more than two-dozen investigations into biased policing tactics and patterns of excessive force in places from Albuquerque to New Orleans to Newark.

        Such cases often end in lawsuits or court-enforceable agreements to change hiring, training and traffic stop actions.

        Vanita Gupta, the acting leader of the civil rights division at Justice, said at a news conference last month that the goal of such cases is to “ensure that the city has an effective, accountable police department that controls crime, ensures respect for the Constitution, and earns the respect of the public it is charged with protecting.”

        Holder also said Tuesday he was disappointed that some reacted with violence rather than heeding the call for non-violence issued by Brown’s parents.

        For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2014/11/25/366527106/federal-ferguson-investigation-will-remain-independent-holder-insists

      • Tuesday, November 25, 2014

        Statement by Attorney General Holder on the Ongoing Situation in Ferguson, Missouri
        Attorney General Eric Holder made the following statement today on the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

        “Good afternoon. I have been briefed by members of the Justice Department and I wanted to provide a brief update of the Justice Department’s ongoing efforts arising from the events in Ferguson, Missouri. I’ve been briefed today by the COPS director, Ron Davis, Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Molly Moran, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mark Kappelhoff and members of my staff, all of whom are here with me now.

        “They are overseeing the federal investigations into the shooting of Michael Brown as well as the investigation that we are doing of the Ferguson Police Department. I want to emphasize that we have two investigations that are ongoing. As I’ve said many times before and reiterated in my statement last night, the department’s investigations will continue to be thorough, they will continue to be independent and they remain ongoing. They will be conducted rigorously and in a timely manner so we can move forward as expeditiously as we can to restore trust, to rebuild understanding and to foster cooperation between law enforcement and community members.

        “Last night and throughout the day, I have been briefed on events in and around Ferguson. I was disappointed that some members of the community resorted to violence rather than respecting what I thought were the really heartfelt words of Michael Brown Sr. and the wishes he expressed about how he wanted his son’s memory to be honored with nonviolence. It is clear that acts of violence threaten to drown out those that have legitimate voices, legitimate demonstrators and those acts of violence cannot and will not be condoned.

        “By contrast, I’m very encouraged that some of the more peaceful demonstrations last night as well as today have occurred and have been in keeping with Mr. Brown’s request. I would remind demonstrators of our history that those, the way in which we have made progress in this country is when we have seen peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations that has led to the change that has been the most long lasting and the most pervasive.

        “I’ve asked the COPS director, Ron Davis, to continue to confer with local law enforcement and to conduct an after action review so we can develop strategies for identifying and isolating the criminal elements from peaceful protesters. Additionally, I have instructed department officials to continue to make contact with leaders of the peaceful protesters and to seek their assistance in isolating those individuals who are inclined towards violence. We’ve had a good ongoing dialogue with peaceful demonstrators in Ferguson. I’ve been very heartened to hear about the good work that our community relations service has done as well as people under Mark in particular. And I’ve instructed them to maintain those levels of communications and keep those avenues of communications open.

        “I really embrace those who have been proactively intervening to stop acts of violence within their midst and I encourage them to continue to exercise this important leadership. I know that that is not an easy thing to do but it was very heartening to hear about people last night trying to stop those other people who were trying to loot and trying to destroy businesses and burn things. Those people who took it upon themselves to try to stop those kinds of things are in fact heroes in my mind.

        “Michael Brown’s tragic death has revealed a deep distrust between some in the Ferguson community and its police force. It also developed a need to develop and widely disseminate law enforcement best practices for responding to public demonstrations. The Department of Justice has begun this work and will continue to work with communities around the country in this regard. The reality is that what we see in Ferguson is not restricted to Ferguson. There are other communities around this country that have these same issues that have to be dealt with and we at the Justice Department are determined to do all that we can to bridge those divides.

        For more: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/statement-attorney-general-holder-ongoing-situation-ferguson-missouri

      • FACT SHEET: Strengthening Community Policing

        Recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and around the country have highlighted the importance of strong, collaborative relationships between local police and the communities they protect. As the nation has observed, trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.

        In August, President Obama ordered a review of federal funding and programs that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies (LEAs). Today, the Obama Administration released its eview: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition, and the President is also taking a number of steps to strengthen community policing and fortify the trust that must exist between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve.

        White House Review: Federal Support for Local Law Enforcement Equipment Acquisition

        Today, the White House released its review which provides details on the programs that have expanded over decades across multiple federal agencies that support the acquisition of equipment from the federal government to LEAs.

        For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/01/fact-sheet-strengthening-community-policing

      • December 1, 2014

        12:00 PM ET
        President Obama meets with members of his Cabinet to discuss federal programs and funding that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies
        The Roosevelt Room

        2:00 PM ET
        President Obama meets with young local and national civil rights leaders
        Oval Office

        2:50 PM ET
        President Obama meets with elected officials, community and faith leaders, along with law enforcement officials, to discuss strengthening trust between police and communities
        Eisenhower Executive Office Buildi

        ——-

        President Obama Discusses Communities and Law Enforcement Working Together

        Published on Dec 1, 2014

        On December 1, 2014, President Obama met with elected officials, community and faith leaders, and law envorcement officials to talk about how communities and law enforcement can build trust and work together.

      • Following Through After Ferguson

        Following Michael Brown’s tragic death, millions of people across the nation and around the world have focused their attention on unfolding events in Ferguson, both grieving together and making their voices heard.

        In recent days, many have been captivated by ongoing developments, anguished emotions, peaceful protests — and, too often, deeply unfortunate images of unnecessary destruction. And this tragic incident has sparked a necessary, national conversation about the need to ensure trust and build strong relationships between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve.

        Events in Ferguson have revealed a deep distrust between a community and its police force. But this reality is not limited to one location. Other communities around this country know this struggle all too well. And it’s abundantly clear that every single one of us has a role to play in tackling this problem together, as a nation — to identify those things that bind us, and to be honest with one another about the things that continue to divide us.

        In August, President Obama ordered a review of federal funding and programs that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies. Yesterday, the Administration released that review’s findings — and announced key next steps to strengthen the trust in and effectiveness of the policing of our communities.

        Learn more about yesterday’s announcements, and the findings of the Administration’s review.

        Here are the next steps we’re taking:

        1. Creating a new task force to promote the expansion of 21st century community-oriented policing.
        2. Reforming how the federal government equips local law enforcement, particularly with military-style equipment.
        3. Advancing the use of body-worn cameras and promoting proven community policing initiatives.

        For more: http://click.mail.whitehouse.gov/?qs=54cf7f1d4d411f7d9da58520265bea2333c7076840a2c701bfeaac50f101249013ce0ceacf9e9fb6

    • Obama to Hold White House Meetings about Ferguson

      December 01, 2014 9:23 AM VOA News

      President Barack Obama is to discuss the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, with his Cabinet, civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials and others at the White House on Monday.

      The meeting will focus on a review of federal programs that provide military-style equipment to law enforcement agencies.

      Later, Obama meets young civil rights leaders to discuss the challenges posed by “mistrust between law enforcement and communities of color.”

      He also plans to meet government and law enforcement officials, as well as community leaders, to discuss how to strengthen neighborhoods.

      Protests have continued in Ferguson since a grand jury’s decision last week not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black.

      Since August, roughly 300 people have been arrested amid the protests, which have been marred by looting and arson attacks.

      Those arrested face charges of unlawful assembly and trespassing, interfering with police activity and resisting arrest, as well as felonies, including second-degree burglary, arson, unlawful firearm possession and assault.

      Also Monday in the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is to meet with law enforcement officials and city leaders to discuss ways to improve relations between law enforcement and the community.

    • BET Exclusive: Obama Talks Race, Racism and How Far America Has to Go

      Peaceful protests, he said, remind the public of the progress still to be made.

      12/08/2014 06:30 PM EST By Joyce Jones – BET

      Barack Obama – not the president, but the man – has a dream: his children will be viewed as individuals and judged not by the color of their skin but based on the content of their character, their behavior and their talents and gifts. Sadly, he observed in an exclusive interview with BET Networks, “misguided attitudes” mean that people of color still have less margin for error, particularly if they are male.

      The good news, the president said, is that younger generations have evolved on the issue of race, which is evidenced by the sea of multi-ethnic faces in the crowds at coast-to-coast protests taking place in response to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner tragedies.

      “They’ve got a better attitude and a clearer mindset and a greater empathy for what’s going on. And I think each successive generation, as it gets more understanding, more familiarity, more comfort with people of other races and other cultures, then some of this dissipates,” Obama said, referring to the “deeply rooted” racism that still plagues this nation.

      Hours before the interview aired, his critics on the right began lashing out at him for, according to Breitbart News, “playing the race card more overtly than ever before.” Others will say it’s about time he spoke up about the series of police-involved deaths of a disproportionate number of African-American men, which he acknowledged. But he also said that “institutionally” he is required to remain silent during the investigations of those incidents, which would be compromised “if it appeared that I was trying to steer to a particular outcome.”

      That doesn’t mean he does not empathize with those who’ve expressed their anger and frustration more publically. The president recalled a meeting he had last week that included several young African-American leaders whose experiences of being stopped or treated suspiciously for no reason reminded him of his own. He also said that as long as the protests remain peaceful, they are necessary

      “And that’s why I had them in the Oval Office, some of these folks who’ve been organizing these protests. Because the old adage, power concedes nothing without a fight — I think that’s true,” said Obama. “But what’s also true is that a country’s conscience sometimes has to be triggered by some inconvenience, because I think a lot of people who saw the Eric Garner video are troubled, even if they haven’t had that same experience themselves. Even if they’re not African-American or Latino.”

      But time sometimes causes interest to wane or another headline grabs the public’s attention, he added, so “the value of peaceful protests, activism, organizing is it reminds the society this is not yet done.”

      During the 30-minute interview, Obama outlined some of the steps his administration is taking to try to address disparities in the nation’s criminal justice system. In 90 days, a new task force will present recommendations on issues such as how to train and equip law enforcement and hold them more accountable. He also is prepared to withhold funding to jurisdictions that eschew best practices identified.

      For the entire article and video: http://www.bet.com/news/politics/2014/12/08/in-bet-exclusive-obama-talks-race-and-racism.html

    • BET Networks Covers the “JUSTICE FOR ALL” MARCH Taking Place on Saturday, December 13

      Viewers Can Follow Every Angle of the March with On-Air News Briefs, Up-to-the-Minute Updates and Commentary on BET.com/News and Continue the Conversation on Twitter by using hashtag #BETATTHEMARCH

      12/12/14

      BET Networks will be on the ground reporting on every angle of the “JUSTICE FOR ALL” MARCH with coverage airing Saturday, December 13 on BET. BET News’ coverage will include the pre-march anticipation amongst the crowd in Freedom Plaza and track every step of the march along Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. BET News will capture personal accounts about what motivated the community to participate and their feelings about the crisis and various speeches that take place after the march. BET News correspondent Andre Showell will offer analysis and commentary of the March throughout the day.

      BET News’ web series for millennials “WHAT’S AT STAKE” will embed college student ambassadors to shoot Point-Of-View content titled “Diaries of the March.” The ambassador will take over BET’s official Instagram account capturing images and uploading posts as they march along with the crowd. Photos will also be shared to Twitter, Facebook, Google+ from the march throughout the day. BET social media will post quotes from the speeches taking place throughout the day. Additional footage shot will be featured in future episodes of “What’s At Stake” at http://www.BET.comWhatsAtStake.

      For more: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bet-networks-covers-justice-march-214800860.html;_ylt=AwrTWf2EnItUiSMA5ZrQtDMD

    • 10 things black people fear that white people simply don’t
      It goes beyond racial profiling. African Americans are subjected to countless microaggressions on a daily basis

      WEDNESDAY, MAR 18, 2015 02:35 PM PDT TERRELL JERMAINE STARR, ALTERNET

      The following is the latest in a new series of articles on AlterNet called Fear in America that launched this March. Read the introduction to the series.

      When black people wake up and begin the day, we have a wide range of issues we have to think about before leaving our homes. Will a police officer kill us today? Or, will some George Zimmerman vigilante see us as a threat in our own neighborhoods and kill us? We brace ourselves for those white colleagues who are pissed Barack Obama won both elections and take out their racist rage on us. When we drive our cars, we have to wonder if we’ll be pulled over because our cars look too expensive for a black person to be driving. If we’re poor and sick, we wonder if we’ll be able to be treated for our illness. We have a lot on our minds, and sometimes it’s overwhelming.

      Here are a few examples of things we have to be afraid of that white people don’t (or not nearly as much).

      1. Getting fired because we don’t fit into white cultural norms.
      2. Encountering a police officer who may kill us.
      3. Not being able to get a job.
      4. Our daughters being expelled from school because of “zero tolerance policies.
      5. We are much more likely to be harassed by police than by white residents in NYC.
      6. Being bullied at work.
      7. Being pulled over by the police.
      9. Getting sick and not having access to health care.
      10. Having white people say we’re exaggerating these issues.

      For more: http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/10-things-black-people-fear-white-people-dont-or-dont-nearly-much

  3. My god I never thought that things would ever get this bad in the US and that we as a nation were far past the days of Birmingham, Al in 1961.

  4. This is an American tragedy that keeps occurring. And when the police is involved, makes it only more tragic & over the top. Thanks, for post.

  5. Factory Production in U.S. Jumps 1% in July on Equipment Demand

    Aug 15, 2014 6:15 AM PT By Jeanna Smialek – bloomberg

    Factory production increased in July at the fastest pace in five months as capital spending climbed and motor vehicle demand surged, indicating the industry is helping propel the U.S. economy.

    The 1 percent gain at manufacturers followed a 0.3 percent increase in the prior month that was more than initially estimated, figures from the Federal Reserve in Washington showed today. Total industrial production, which also includes mines and utilities, advanced 0.4 percent for a second month in July.

    Production lines have shifted into higher gear as Americans replace aging autos and companies grow more confident about expanding. Stronger demand in overseas markets, which has been a missing ingredient for American producers, would help provide additional momentum.

    “We’re seeing a strengthening,” Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado, said before the report. “The factory sector has looked quite solid this year.”

    Total industrial production was projected to rise 0.3 percent, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of 82 economists. Estimates ranged from a drop of 0.4 percent to an increase of 0.7 percent after a previously reported June gain of 0.2 percent.

    Manufacturing, which makes up 75 percent of total production, was forecast to increase 0.4 percent, according to the survey median.

    Auto production soared 10.1 percent in July after no change a month earlier. Factory output excluding vehicle and parts production climbed 0.4 percent, the most in four months.

    For more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-08-15/factory-production-in-u-s-jumps-1-in-july-on-equipment-demand.html

  6. E-Commerce Retail Sales

    Released On 8/15/2014 10:00:00 AM For Q2.14

    Prior Prior Revised Actual
    E-Sales Q/Q Change SAAR 2.8 % 3.3 % 4.9 %

    Highlights
    E-commerce sales rose a very sharp 4.9 percent in the second quarter compared to the first quarter vs an upward revised gain of 3.3 percent in the prior quarterly comparison. Year-on-year, e-commerce sales were up 15.7 percent vs 15.5 percent in the first quarter. For comparison, total retail sales rose only 4.4 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. As a percentage of total retail sales, e-commerce continued its climb, to 6.4 percent vs 6.2 percent in the first quarter.

    Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/markets/economic-calendar/

  7. It took President Obama to restore the hope of justice in Ferguson. The governor appeared; a new law enforcement officer was put in charge; DOJ, US Attorney & FBI are investigating. No more tear gas and assault vehicles on the scene. Looks like local police are still defiant are uncooperative, judging from their presser today. But the truth will come out.

    >^..^<

  8. West Wing Week 08/15/14 or, “Mikey Goes to Washington”

    Published on Aug 15, 2014

    Welcome to a special Summer Edition of the West Wing Week, your guide to everything that’s happening at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. This week, while the President focused on the developing situations both in Iraq and in our nation’s heartland, in Ferguson, Missouri, West Wing Week tagged along for the first few hours and days of one of the newest employees here at the White House, and for the launch of the newly created US Digital Service. That’s August 8th to 15th or…Mikey Goes to Washington.

  9. WH

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama vacations in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  10. Weekly Address: Everyone Should Be Able To Afford Higher Education

    Video Remarks of President Barack Obama
    Weekly Address
    The White House
    Saturday, August 16, 2014

    Hi, everybody. Over the next couple weeks, schools all across the country will be opening their doors. Students will suit up for fall sports, marching band, and the school play; moms and dads will snap those first-day-of-school pictures — and that includes me and Michelle.

    And so today, I want to talk directly with students and parents about one of the most important things any of you can do this year — and that’s to begin preparing yourself for an education beyond high school.

    We know that in today’s economy, whether you go to a four-year college, a community college, or a professional training program, some higher education is the surest ticket to the middle class. The typical American with a bachelor’s degree or higher earns over $28,000 more per year than someone with just a high school diploma. And they’re also much more likely to have a job in the first place – the unemployment rate for those with a bachelor’s degree is less than one-third of the rate for those without a high school diploma.

    But for too many families across the country, paying for higher education is a constant struggle. Earlier this year, a young woman named Elizabeth Cooper wrote to tell me how hard it is for middle-class families like hers to afford college. As she said, she feels “not significant enough to be addressed, not poor enough for people to worry [about], and not rich enough to be cared about.”

    Michelle and I know the feeling – we only finished paying off our student loans ten years ago. And so as President, I’m working to make sure young people like Elizabeth can go to college without racking up mountains of debt. We reformed a student loan system so that more money goes to students instead of big banks. We expanded grants and college tax credits for students and families. We took action to offer millions of students a chance to cap their student loan payments at 10% of their income. And Congress should pass a bill to let students refinance their loans at today’s lower interest rates, just like their parents can refinance their mortgage.

    For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/08/15/weekly-address-everyone-should-be-able-afford-higher-education

  11. WH

    Sunday, August 18, 2014

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama returns to the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    1:00 PM
    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

  12. President Obama Itinerary August 17-19

    August 17
    President Obama breaks from his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts to return to the White House for scheduled meetings with his cabinet

    August 18
    President Obama attends meetings at White House

    August 19
    President Obama returns to his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

  13. Sunday talk show tip sheet

    8/16/14 2:55 PM EDT By KENDALL BREITMAN – POLITICO

    “Meet the Press” on NBC
    • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D)
    • Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.)
    • Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio)
    • Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D)

    “Face the Nation” on CBS
    • NAACP President Cornell William Brooks
    • Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman, House Intelligence Committee

    “This Week” on ABC
    • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.)
    • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)

    “Fox News Sunday” on Fox
    • Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R)
    • Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
    • Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), ranking member, House Foreign Affairs Committee

    “State of the Union” on CNN
    • Nixon
    • Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
    • Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.)

    “Newsmakers” on C-SPAN
    • EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock

    “Al Punto” on Univision
    • Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
    • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.)
    • Former Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Jorge Castañeda

  14. *******************
    THIS POST IS NOW CLOSED NBLB

    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”Women’s Equality Day 2014 – 19th Amendment ″

    ********************

    To get to the newest post click on “HOME” at the top of the thread

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