Ferguson, Missouri Weekend Update
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon early Monday ordered the National Guard into Ferguson hours after police said escalating violence led to shootings, arrests and “pre-planned” acts of aggression by protesters. Nixon made the announcement following another night of clashes between police and protesters in the suburb of St. Louis. Sunday night and early Monday morning, protesters shot at police, threw Molotov cocktails at officers, looted local businesses and carried out a “coordinated attempt” to block roads and overrun the police’s command center. The National Guard will “help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson,” the governor’s office said.
Autopsy Shows Michael Brown Was Struck at Least 6 Times (New York Times)
Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a police officer, sparking protests around the nation, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, a preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday found.
Senior White House aides have made repeated, urgent phone calls to Gov. Jay Nixon of Missouri, to state police officials and to civil rights leaders in recent days as President Obama’s administration becomes more deeply involved in trying to maintain peace in Ferguson and to ensure an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager by a white police officer.
Midnight curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson (Al Jazeera)
Authorities have imposed a midnight curfew for the second night in a row in Ferguson, Missouri where an unarmed black teen was shot and killed by a white police officer last week. Soon after the announcement, police fired smoke canisters at protesters. Authorities fired tear gas and tactical vehicles advanced along West Florissant Avenue, the site of ongoing protests as well as violence and looting since the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
Police turn to tear gas at Ferguson protests; curfew remains in place (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Police fired tear gas on protesters in Ferguson shortly after 9 p.m., causing some to flee for safety. The gas was fired at the southern end of the protest area, near Solway Avenue. Police told demonstrators “Get off the street now.” Protesters began marching south on West Florissant Avenue toward Lucas and Hunt Road. About 10 to 15 minutes into the march, something happened and police began firing tear gas. On Twitter, the St. Louis County Police reported that someone had thrown Molotov cocktails at police sometime about 9 p.m. County officials added that shots had been fired near Solway and West Florissant. Officials at the Missouri Highway Patrol could not be immediately reached for comment.
Armed youths were seen roaming the center of town, firing hand guns in the air while another group attempted to throw a Molotov cocktail toward heavily armed police late Sunday amid an explosion of violence in this St. Louis suburb that has seen days of unrest since a police officer killed a black teenager on Aug. 9.
Capturing the dramatic events for the world was Mustafa Hussein, a student who works at a local all-volunteer music station, Argus Radio. The station is using video equipment it purchased to live-stream concerts to broadcast the protests in Ferguson. Tonight, as tens of thousands of people around the world watched, Hussein was threatened by an officer wielding a weapon. “Get the fuck out of here! You get that light off or you’re getting shot with this!,” the man shouts.
Amnesty International has taken “unprecedented” action to deal with the situation in Ferguson, Missouri, by sending resources the human rights group has never deployed inside the United States. The organization has been on the ground in Ferguson since Thursday, sending a 13-person human rights delegation to the city in the wake of the Aug. 9 police shooting death of Michael Brown.
"If everyone just stopped with the racism thing, it’d all just go away and everything would go to court and come out with the way the law is supposed to do it. Rioting and everything in the streets doesn’t get anything done."
Controversy continues to rage over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a police officer, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said on Sunday that he disagreed “deeply” with the release of a video allegedly depicting Brown robbing a convenience store, and was not informed of the tape before it was unveiled by Ferguson police.
he fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer has led to the creation of online petitions for officers to wear body cameras. Petitions on Change.org and White House website have called for a law that would require police to wear body cameras. At the time of the shooting, Ferguson police had no cameras near the incident.
One of the Brown family’s attorneys told ABC that the family was not shown a surveillance tape of their son allegedly committing a robbery before it was released to the media, nor were they given a chance to positively identify their son in the video.
Three of the nation’s most prominent civil rights and civil liberties legal groups on Sunday called for the end of the curfew in Ferguson, Mo. The statement from the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law was released after one night of the curfew imposed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. The groups also criticize the Ferguson Police Department for “hiding the incident report of the shooting of Michael Brown.”
Twitter Co-Founder Marches With Protesters In Ferguson (ThinkProgres)
As Twitter has become the primary source of information about the current unrest in Ferguson — the hashtag #ferguson has been trending for a week, and outrage over racial profiling and police violence went viral under hashtags like #IfTheyGunnedMeDown and #HandsUpDontShoot — one of the people who founded the social media website is joining the ongoing protests over 18-year-old Mike Brown’s shooting.
‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’: A National Moment of Silence for Mike Brown (In These Times)
Less than a week after the fatal shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police, supporters across the country took to the streets on Thursday night to hold a national moment of silence and protest against state-funded violence.
In the aftermath of clashes between heavily armed police forces and protesters in Ferguson, MO, the Senate will review the nearly twenty-five year old law that promotes the transfer of surplus military goods to police forces, the head of the Senate Armed Services Committee said on Friday.
What Matters in Ferguson (The Nation)
Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. This is what matters. The name of the officer has been released (it’s Darren Wilson, who has been on the force for six years), alongside allegations that Brown was involved in a robbery. This does not matter. It doesn’t matter because people accused of robbery should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because people who put their hands up in surrender should not be shot. It doesn’t matter because a body should not lie in the streets for hours after being shot by a police officer. Michael Brown was shot and killed by an officer of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department. Everything else is irrelevant.
When asked who is the leader of the ongoing protests since the killing of Michael Brown—protests that have triggered Missouri’s governor to declare a state of emergency and curfew—one young man from St. Louis answered, “Do we have a leader? No,” and he went on to suggest that the martyred Brown, himself, offered the best example of leadership for Ferguson’s angry and alienated young people.
Violence in Ferguson didn’t have to happen (Kansas City Star)
When the full story of the Ferguson riot is written, these experts suggested, the heftiest criticism will fall not just on the police use of riot gear, gas bombs, rubber bullets and body armor that further inflamed a volatile public. It will focus equally on how officials, in light of racial tension and changing demographics, had utterly failed years ago to engender the crucial trust that is needed between police and its citizens to prevent such eruptive violence. For Ferguson to heal, they said, it is exactly such trust that will be needed — a process that could take years.
Behind Ferguson’s Unrest: Failed Federal Policy and the Black-White Housing Gap (New America Media)
On the surface, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., was about local police using deadly force on an unarmed young man. But on a deeper level, it reflected the increasing poverty and economic decline that affects ethnic communities all over America. Despite rosy reports in the media about the end of the national foreclosure crisis and the recession that followed, all is not well in our inner cities and suburbs with largely minority populations, like Ferguson. The foreclosure crisis was hard on many Americans, but it was a disaster for communities of color, including the citizens of Ferguson.
What I Did After Police Killed My Son (Politico)
In April of this year we passed a law that made Wisconsin the first state in the nation to mandate at legislative level that police-related deaths be reviewed by an outside agency. Ten days after it went into effect in May, local police shot a man sleeping on a park bench 15 times. It’s one of the first incidents to be investigated under the new law.
In 1998, Specimen (a Chicago-based workshop that specializes in creating amazing one-of-a-kind custom instruments) fashioned this incredible Pac-Man guitar for Dave “Timely” Winer of the Howards and the Baltimores.
The headstock contains a strobing blinker light. A variable-speed knob is located on the eyeball so that the player can synchronize the blinker to the beat.