Aug 14 2014
The situation in Ferguson, Missouri continues to deteriorate, as residents report they are in what amounts to a “war zone.” Armored tanks and militarized weaponry dominate the police presence during major street protests against the shooting death by police of an 18 year old unarmed black teen named Mike Brown.
Yesterday even members of the media were targeted. One journalist with Al Jazeera was tear-gassed while reporters from the Washington Post and Huffington Post were arrested and eventually released with no charges.
The Rev. Al Sharpton arrived at the scene earlier this week and led a press conference and meeting with Brown’s parents. Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represented Trayvon Martin’s family has now been named as the attorney representing Brown’s parents. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has announced that he is planning to visit the area and President Obama, during his vacation at Martha’s Vineyard has also been updated.
Members of the Ferguson community, which is 70% black with a police force that is almost 100% white, have been confronting law enforcement with their hands raised, yelling the chant: Hands up, Don’t shoot.
Meanwhile in Southern California, where this program is produced, a 24 year old African American man was also gunned down by police in South Los Angeles on Monday. Ezell Ford was apparently struggling with mental illness. His family maintains he was lying on the ground following police orders when he was shot three times in the back and died from his wounds later. A community vigil was held on Tuesday night in Los Angeles.
GUEST: Pastor Tommie Pierson of the Greater St. Mark Family Church, just outside Ferguson, Missouri, where a community meeting was held on Tuesday night.