President Barrack Obama discusses situation in Ferguson, Mo., with Atty. Gen. Eric Holder in Martha’s Vineyard (Official White House photo by Chuck Kennedy)
by Mary Foran
On August 9th, 2014, Michael Brown, an 18 year old African American, was fatally shot 6 times by white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri after an alledged struggle. Brown was unarmed at the time of the shooting, but Jon Belmar, police chief for St. Louis County, gave a statement saying that Brown had been shot after assaulting a police officer and attempting to gain control of the officer’s gun. Brown was later seen on surveillance cameras strong-arming his way out of a store with shoplifted cigars.
On August 10th, crowds participating in a day of vigils for Brown began looting area businesses, vandalizing vehicles and confronting police. 150 riot officers were dispatched to the scene, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
On August 12th, protesters congregated in Clayton, Missouri, demanding the criminal prosecution of the police officer who shot Brown. Police used tear gas on the crowd, claiming bottles had been thrown at officers. Two journalists were arrested and one injured by police.
A Grand Jury was convened to deliberate the fate of the officer and the US Attorney General Eric Holder visited the area to promise a full investigation in order to calm the still-rioting crowds in Ferguson. Being somewhat Black, they thought Holder’s visit to Ferguson could calm the black protesters’ ire.
Violence has subsided in Ferguson, but the Grand Jury has yet to reach a decision on the matter.
The images of protesters parading in the streets of Ferguson and the police response has made race relations a topic of news programs around the world.
American journalists are now being targeted by ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and Americans in general. ISIS terrorists beheaded abducted American photo-journalist James Wright Foley in a graphic video the Islamists posted online, claiming the murder was in retaliation for American airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq.
Foley had been missing since November 22, 2012 and President Barack Obama revealed that a rescue attempt had been made but had failed. In the video, Foley appears to be forced to read an anti-American statement before being gruesomely beheaded by a black-clothed terrorist, face covered, with an English accent which had British officials wondering about his nationality. Foley’s family and friends and the world witnessed the barbaric beheading and his death was confirmed late Tuesday, August 19th, 2014. Pope Francis apparently called Foley’s family to express his sympathies and prayers.
There is talk of more US involvement in the terrorist crisis, more airstrikes in Iraq and even Syria and more special operations to extract American hostages.
An international coalition and response is called for as well.
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