Nixon visits, President addresses violence in Ferguson
Fri, 15 Aug 2014 00:01:43 GMT —
Hundreds of people protesting the death of a black Missouri teenager shot by a white police officer are still marching through the streets of Ferguson.
The protests come as the Missouri State Highway Patrol is taking over supervising security in the St. Louis suburb amid criticisms of the police response.
Early Thursday evening, St. Louis County police and state troopers were walking alongside demonstrators.
Several marchers stopped to shake hands with officers.
One woman hugged Capt. Ron Johnson of the Highway Patrol, who is black. He is overseeing security.
The scene stands in stark contrast to earlier this week when officers in riot gear and in military equipment clashed with protesters.
Crowds have gathered since Saturday's shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Johnson told The Associated Press, "We all want justice. We all want answers."
Johnson said he grew up in the community, and "It means a lot to me personally that we break this cycle of violence."
Crowds have gathered in Ferguson since Saturday's shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown to protest the 18-year-old's death.
Police defended the use of tear gas and smoke bombs to repel demonstrators after another night of chaos. But the police response has drawn heavy criticism.
Brownâ??s family is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to oversee a second autopsy.
The family's attorney, Ben Crump, told The Associated Press that funeral arrangements for 18-year-old Michael Brown are on hold until a second autopsy can be performed.
Crump said he was in the process Thursday of making a formal request to the Justice Department.
He says a second autopsy overseen by the federal agency would better ensure objectivity.
The St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office performed a preliminary autopsy Sunday.
Brown was killed Saturday in Ferguson, sparking racial tension and protests in the St. Louis suburb, including some that have turned violent.
Crump says the hope is that Brown's funeral will take place by the weekend of August 23.
President Barack Obama says there is no excuse for the use of excessive force by police in the tense aftermath of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager and no excuse for violence against the police.
In brief remarks near his vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard, Obama said he wants an open and transparent investigation of the shooting death of Brown, so that justice is done.
He also said police shouldn't be arresting and bullying journalists who are doing their jobs.
Two reporters were taken into custody and briefly jailed Wednesday evening in the St. Louis suburb.
The governor spoke Thursday at a meeting of clergy and community members to discuss law enforcement's response to demonstrations over the killing in the town of Ferguson.
The governor told the audience that he was late to the meeting because he had been on the phone with President Obama, who sent "wishes of peace and justice."
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