Missouri Governor Lifts Curfew On Ferguson, Obama Announces Civil Rights Investigation
By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 18, 2014 9:05PM
President Obama addresses reporters at the White House regarding the Michael Brown shooting and protests Aug. 18, 2014. (Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Monday he would lift the curfew on the town of Ferguson, effective immediately, as the Missouri National Guard is set to arrive in the latest attempt to restore order to the besieged St. Louis suburb.
Nixon signed the executive order deploying the National Guard to Ferguson this morning after another night where police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters and threatened to mace and arrest reporters covering the scene on the streets. The Guard, however, will be tasked with protecting the town’s command center. Police claimed the center was under attack during Sunday night’s violence, an assertion disputed by reporters.
Nixon, in his statement announcing the end of the curfew, said "Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk.
"These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory, and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served, and to feel safe in their own homes,” Nixon’s statement continued.
Meanwhile, the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen shot and killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, suggested order could be restored (and justice served) with Wilson’s arrest. Brown’s family has called for peaceful protests and an end to the violence.
An independent autopsy of Brown’s body revealed he was shot six times in the arm, face and torso, while facing Wilson with his hands in the air. The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” this morning, "It's just not justified in any way, fashion or form to execute this child," Crump said.
School was canceled in Ferguson Monday as a result of the ongoing violence. President Barack Obama returned early from his vacation in Martha's Vineyard to meet with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Justice Department officials about the situation in Ferguson, and announced an independent, federal civil rights investigation into Brown's death.
"The Department of Justice has opened an independent, federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown." —President Obama— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 18, 2014
The president wrapped up a news conference where he touched on the violence in Ferguson just as this post was published.
"We’ve got to use this moment to seek out the shared humanity that’s laid bare by this moment." —Obama on the situation in #Ferguson— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 18, 2014
"Our constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to report in the press must be vigilantly safeguarded." —Obama #Ferguson— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 18, 2014
“In too many communities around this country, young men of color are left behind and seen as objects of fear.” —President Obama #Ferguson— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 18, 2014
John Oliver addressed the situation in Ferguson, particularly targeting the police department's belligerent stance, on HBO's "Last Week Tonight."
"The police are not soldiers. So why in this photo from Ferguson are they wearing fucking camo? They are northwest of St. Louis, not northwest of the Amazon. If you are a cop in the United States, you should dress for the job you have, not the job you want."