Tags: Ferguson in Crisis | Missouri | Ferguson | grand jury

Obama Offers Federal Help as On-Edge Ferguson Awaits Ruling

Image: Obama Offers Federal Help as On-Edge Ferguson Awaits Ruling
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By    |   Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 09:59 AM

President Barack Obama, like many other Americans, is expressing concern over more violence occurring in Ferguson, Missouri, where racial tensions have flared since August after a police officer shot an unarmed teenager, Politico reports.

While he is limited, on a federal level, at what he can do to stop any backlash amid an anticipated grand jury ruling in the case, the president has asked federal agencies to nonetheless "lay the groundwork" for assistance there, urging civil rights activists to do what they can to help staunch any flare-up, Politico noted.

Obama called Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon last week, while Attorney General Eric Holder reached out to officials from the federal to local levels on a conference call in advance of a possible indictment, which could be handed up by the grand jury as early as next week, according to Politico.

The shooting, which killed Michael Brown, 18, has brought attention to the issue of the use of deadly force as states struggle — and differ — on how to handle such conduct in the wake of the polarizing Trayvon Martin shooting in Sanford, Florida, St. Louis station KSDK-TV reported.

As grand jurors decide whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson, the standard in Missouri is high — beyond a reasonable doubt — that shooting Brown was justified, KSDK noted. By contrast, in nearby Illinois, Wilson himself and not prosecutors would have to prove he was justified, the station said.

"The law in Illinois, the law in Missouri basically say the life of a police officer is more valuable than the life of the person who is trying to attack them," criminology professor David Klinger of the University of Missouri St. Louis told KSDK. "Otherwise we wouldn't authorize officers to use deadly force to protect themselves."

Residents of Ferguson are on high alert and fearing more rioting and unrest, Time magazine reported of the unease. "You can literally see the fear in people’s eyes," a local gun shop owner told the magazine. "People are anticipating far worse than last time."

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President Barack Obama, like many other Americans, is expressing concern over more violence occurring in Ferguson, Missouri, where racial tensions have flared since August after a police officer shot an unarmed teenager, Politico reports.
Missouri, Ferguson, grand jury
337
2014-59-13
Thursday, 13 Nov 2014 09:59 AM
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