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U.S. Attorney General joins Missouri shooting probe, National Guard steps in

English.news.cn   2014-08-19 14:14:07
• Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson to carry out a federal investigation into the incident.
• Obama said Holder's visit to Ferguson will "help bring about peace and calm."
• Obama said Ferguson is "rightly hurting," but called once again for people to seek some understanding.
 


WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson in the state of Missouri to carry out a federal investigation into a shooting incident that has spurred outrage and riot in the local community.

During a press conference at the White House, Obama said Holder's visit to Ferguson on Wednesday will include meetings with federal investigators and local community directors.

The president said Holder will also meet with law enforcement officials "to help bring about peace and calm in Ferguson."

On Monday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon deployed the state National Guard to the St. Louis suburbs of Ferguson to address the "intensifying violent attacks" there.

The governor said in a statement that he deployed the Guard because of "coordinated attacks last night both on civilians and law enforcement officers." Nixon said the Guard's involvement will be a "limited mission." The National Guard is a reserve military force that can be mobilized under state or federal authority. President Barack Obama said he told Nixon he'll be watching to determine if the Guard's presence is beneficial or harmful.

On Aug. 9, 18-year-old African American Michael Brown was shot dead by police in Ferguson, sparking a week-long protest in the town where most of the population is black.

Latest autopsy conducted on behalf of Brown's family showed that the boy had been shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

The pathologist said the boy had suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned -- a gesture of possible surrender -- when the fatal shot hit.

But the pathologist said the independent team that examined Brown can't be sure yet exactly how the wounds were inflicted, citing the need for more information.

Brown's death heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and the mostly white Ferguson Police Department. Many local residents fear that local officials will not act fairly in determining whether to charge the officer, Darren Wilson, with a crime.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH

As clashes between police and protestors continued, both President Obama and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday called for the protection of the rights of the demonstrators.

Ban called on the authorities to "ensure that the rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are protected," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

"He calls on all to exercise restraint, for law enforcement officials to abide by U.S. and international standards in dealing with demonstrators," Dujarric said.

Obama, for his part, also noted that constitutional rights to speak freely, assemble and those of the press must be "vigilantly safeguarded... especially in moments like these."

"There's no excuse for excessive force by police," he added.

Related:

Missouri Governor announces State of Emergency in Ferguson

FERGUSON, Mo., Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- After a night of looting, violence and chaos, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency and a curfew that will begin at midnight and end at 5:00 a.m. on Sunday morning in Ferguson, Missouri,.

This action comes in the wake of the shooting of unarmed 18- year-old Michael Brown seven days ago, and many nights of protests. Full story

U.S. blacks, whites sharply disagree on Ferguson shooting: poll

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. whites and African Americans sharply disagree over a police shooting of a black teen that has rocked a town in the U.S. state of Missouri and sparked riots and ongoing protests, showed a poll released Monday.

Most blacks have already made up their minds that the policeman should be found guilty, a poll released by U.S. polling company Rasmussen Reports found. Blacks are also more convinced that the violent protests since the shooting are mostly legitimate outrage rather than criminal activity. Full story

 

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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