The Justice Dept needs to take over the investigation and prosecution in Ferguson

Attorney General Eric Holder has been involved in the Ferguson Police investigation so far.

Attorney General Eric Holder has been involved in the Ferguson Police investigation so far.

After a brief moment of calm, Ferguson continues to be roiled by ongoing unrest as law enforcement officials clash with protestors who are angry that no charges have been filed or arrest made of Darren Wilson, the police officer who executed unarmed teenage Michael Brown. With emotions on edge, and tensions raw, Missouri Governor Ray Nixon called in the National Guard and schools remain closed today. The impasse between the citizens in Ferguson and law enforcement officials show no signs of abating any time soon.

‎Speaking to MSNBC on Friday, August 15, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay described St.Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch as “out of order” and ill-advised for lashing out at Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to place the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

Mayor Slay was accurate in his assessment of the St. Louis prosecutor, who characterized the governor’s action in placing Captain Ronald Johnson in charge of security as “illegal.”

More frenzy occurred at night as citizens and law enforcement remain at odds.

More frenzy occurred at night as citizens and law enforcement remain at odds.

But apart from the St Louis prosecutor putting his foot in his mouth with his irresponsible statements, his sentiments raise a far more serious question : Can a prosecutor who espouses such bias fairly seek justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was murdered by police officer Darren Wilson?

Tear gas has been used on multiple occasions to disperse crowds; unruly or not.

Tear gas has been used on multiple occasions to disperse crowds; unruly or not.

It is clear that the prosecutor is incapable of being neutral in this matter therefore it is incumbent on US Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately seize control of the investigation and entrust the prosecution of this case to legal minds in his office. Judging from the chaotic and inconsistent statements provided by St. Louis Police chief Jay Belmar when be identified the murderous cop, who has allegedly fled town, it is unlikely that ‎any form of Justice will emerge in this case unless the prosecution is conducted by a special prosecutor or the Department of Justice itself. Regardless of the option that is ultimately chosen it is clear that outside intervention is necessary in order for Btown’s family to obtain justice. -OnPointPress.net.

Etana, Fab 5 set to entertain at Jamaica’s Independence gala in NYC

Cultural reggae star Etana will perform at Jamaica's 52nd annual Independence ball on August 16, 2014.

Cultural reggae star Etana will perform at Jamaica’s 52nd annual Independence gala on August 16, 2014.

New York, August 16 2014: The stage is all set for the Skatalites, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Karl and Faye Rodney to be honored at the Jamaica Independence Ball in New York. The gala will take place on Saturday, August 16, at the New York Marriot Marquis Hotel, located at 1535 Broadway, New York. The gala will begin with a cocktail hour at 6:30 p.m. and run through 3:00 a.m.

Under the theme “Celebrating Greatness,” the event will feature a night of first-class entertainment and patriotic offerings. Cultural reggae star Etana will headline the gala, backed by the Fab Five band.

Former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson

Former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson will be the guest presenter  at the event.

The Skatalites are in the 5th decade of a long and superbly successful career as they continue to bring the rich culture of the Island through music (from the Ska era to reggae) to the world. The only surviving member Lester Sterling will be on hand to receive the award.

Sheryl Lee Ralph has never been shy to embrace her Jamaican heritage. To that end she has been a tireless advocate, philanthropist, and (unofficial) ambassador of the homeland. She is an accomplished actress; from the small and big screens to Broadway, leaving in her wake, groundbreaking performances which have won her rave reviews and numerous awards. She represents a slew of second and on generation Islanders, who value the culture and history of the land from which their parents originate.

Entertainer Sheryl Lee Ralph

Entertainer Sheryl Lee Ralph will be honored at the gala..

The husband and wife team of Karl; Faye Rodney are renowned in the Diaspora, particularly for their work in media. The Carib News, their brain-child, is a leading publication in the media capital of the world, New York, and serves as a leading voice of the Caribbean Diaspora.

Lester Sterling, the lone surviving member of the Skatalites.

Lester Sterling, the lone surviving member of the Skatalites. He will accept honors on behalf of the group.

Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Hon P. J. Patterson, will be the special guest and presenter of awards for the evening.

For more information, JICFI may be reached at 631-374-7811, or 718-527-3484; email, psmartwillo@optonline.net. The Jamaican Independence Celebration Foundation, Inc. (JICFI) is a 501 C (3) non-profit organization, dedicated to celebrating Jamaica’s independence which was gained on August 6, 1962.–OnPointPress.net.

Across the USA, residents unite to honor victims of police brutality

Highway Patrol chief Ron Johnson eased tensions among the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Highway Patrol chief Ron Johnson eased tensions among the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

By Carmen Glover

Across the United States residents gathered to peacefully protest police brutality in a National Moment of Silence on August 14 at 7:00 p.m.‎ Below are images from select cities.

#NMOS14 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

#NMOS14 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The NMOS14 campaign was organized via social media and quickly gathered steam.

#NMOS14 at Union Square in New York City.

#NMOS14 at Union Square in New York City.

Among the many names invoked at various NMOS14 events were Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old murdered by an unnamed police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, which has sparked nationwide protests; Romarley Marley, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Anthony Baez and Amadou Diallo who were unarmed when they were killed by police officers in New York City; Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager who was killed by overzealous neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida and Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old father who was killed on New Year’s Eve in Oakland, California, inspiring the award-winning movie “Fruitvale Station.”

#NMOS14 in Houston, Texas

#NMOS14 in Houston, Texas

The NMOS14 protesters came together after President Barack Obama took a break from his vacation to address the nation about Brown’s murder and the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. US Attorney General Eric Holder also released a statement expressing concern about the situation in Ferguson. Shortly afterwards, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon held a press conference with county executive Charlie Dooley and Captain Ron Johnson, both African-Americans, at his side.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

During the press conference, Nixon announced that he spoke to both President Obama and Attorney General Holder and that he was placing Ferguson’s security in the hands of the Highway Patrol, under Captain Johnson’s leadership. Johnson informed the gathering that he “grew up in Ferguson” while Dooley siad he was “saddened” by what he has seen since Brown’s death. Johnson walked with the protesters, talked to them and the media, and soothed the anger that had erupted when the Ferguson police force deployed officers in riot gear, SWAT teams, tear gas and military weapons to intimidate, harass, bully, beat and arrest the residents and media.-OnPointPress.net.

After US Attorney General issues statement MI Gov places highway patrol in charge of security

US Attorney General Eric Holder issues statement on Unrest in Ferguson , prompting MI Governor to place the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

US Attorney General Eric Holder issues statement on Unrest in Ferguson , prompting MI Governor to place the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

US Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Read the full statement below:

“This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

Department officials from the Community Relations Service are also on the ground in Missouri to help convene law enforcement officials and civic and faith leaders to plot out steps to reduce tensions in the community. The latest such meeting was convened in Ferguson as recently as this morning. Over time, these conversations should consider the role that increased diversity in law enforcement can play in helping to build trust within communities.

All the while, the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting incident itself continues, in parallel with the local investigation into state law violations. Our investigators from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses on the scene at the time of the shooting incident on Saturday. Our review will take time to conduct, but it will be thorough and fair.”-OnPointPress.net

President Obama defends journalists’ rights to work freely in Ferguson, MI

St. Louis and Ferguson Police fired tear gas at crowds to disperse protesters.

St. Louis and Ferguson Police fired tear gas at crowds to disperse protesters.

By Carmen Glover

President Barack Obama took a break from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard to address the nation regarding the turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri and defend the rights of journalists to work.

“Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their job,” President Obama said’ defending journalists’ First Amendment rights in reference to the stunning images and reports of journalists being manhandled, harassed and arrested, while reporting on the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by an unnamed police officer on Saturday, August 9.

President Obama issues statement about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

President Obama issues statement about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Michael Brown.

“I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images they have seen from the heartland of the country,” President Obama said.”I have already tasked the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate. I made it clear to the US Attorney General to investigate exactly what happened. It’s important to remember how this happened. We lost a young man, Michael Brown under tragic circumstances.”

St. Louis and Ferguson police officers in riot gear face off against protestors and journalists.

St. Louis and Ferguson police officers in riot gear face off against protestors and journalists.

While the president supported protesters’ rights to peacefully assemble he made it clear that violence toward or by the police was unacceptable. “There is never an excuse for violence against police,” he said. “Now is the time for transparency to see that justice is done. Now is the time for peace.”-OnPointPress.net

NABJ’s emerging journalist among two arrested in Ferguson while covering protests

Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post was named Emerging Journalist of the Year at NABJ14.

Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post was named Emerging Journalist of the Year at NABJ14.

By Carmen Glover
National Association of Black Journalists’ 2014 emerging journalist of the year Wesley Lowery, who works for the Washington Post, was arrested with fellow reporter Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post a few hours ago.

Both journalists spoke to MSNBC and stated that they were “seated in McDonald ‘s” charging their telephones when they were approached by police officers, some dressed in SWAT gear. The reporters were ordered to leave the restaurant.

MSNBC's national reporter Trymaine Lee was subjected to tear gas in Ferguson, Missouri.

MSNBC’s national reporter Trymaine Lee was subjected to tear gas in Ferguson, Missouri.

“I was slammed into a soda fountain,” said Lowery, who said he was further manhandled, arrested and then released shortly afterwards without any charges being filed or police report issued. Both journalists provided riveting blow by blow accounts on their twitter feeds.

Meanwhile, MSNBC reporter Trymaine Lee, who participated in NABJ14 in Boston with Lowery, spoke to Lawrence O’Donnell‎ while gasping for air as he described being among a group who were subjected to tear gas by Ferguson police officers.

NABJ President Bob Butler shared his feelings on the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri.

NABJ President Bob Butler shared his feelings on the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri.

In a statement NABJ said it “strongly condems the arrests” of the journalists. “Journalists have a constitutionally protected right to work without the government interference,” NABJ president Bob Butler said. “We fully expect the authorities to investigate what appears to be a violation of the First Amendment and to hold the officers involved to account, if necessary.”

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

The town of Ferguson has been transformed into a military state as SWAT teams have descended on the streets, joining police in riot gear who have trained military style weapons on protesters and reporters.

protest

Residents have been protesting the execution of unarmed African-American teenager Michael Brown by an unnamed police officer on Saturday, August 9, as he walked home with his friend Dorian Johnson‎. Although the Ferguson police department stated that Brown was killed after a struggle with the officer, Johnson stoutly refuted that version, stating that he and his friend were walking in the middle of the street when the police officer used expletives in ordering them off the street before grabbing Brown around his neck and shooting him multiple times in the back even though Brown was running away with his arms raised.

Ferguson police officers in riot gear face off against protestors and journalists.

Ferguson police officers in riot gear face off against protestors and journalists.


The Justice Department has launched a criminal and civil rights probe into the case. An autopsy report released today revealed that Brown was killed by gunshot wounds. His body was turned over to his parents.-OnPointPress.net

President Obama addresses Michael Brown’s murder; police kill more black males in MI, LA

President Obama

President Barack Obama releases belated statement on Michael  Brown’s murder in Ferguson, Missouri.

By Carmen Glover

On Tuesday, August 12, US President Barack Obama issued the following statement regarding the police execution of unarmed 18-year-old college-bound male Michael Brown, a resident of Ferguson, a suburb in St. Louis Missouri:

“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was executed by police.

Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was executed by police.

President Obama came under fire by angry citizens who roundly criticized him for speaking out immediately after news broke that actor Robin Williams committed suicide in his California home‎ but remaining silent about the brutal murder of the unarmed African-American teenager. Brown was killed on the afternoon of Saturday, August 9 while Williams’ suicide was announced on Monday, August 11.

Eric Holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder’s office is investigating the murder.

President Obama’s statement came three days after Brown’s murder, as anger has exploded into ongoing protests, clashes with police officers in Ferguson and refusal by the St. Louis police department to reveal the name of the officer who murdered Brown, as previously promised. In the meantime, various reports have indicated that another black male was shot and killed in St. Louis overnight, a black woman was shot in the head and an unarmed black male was shot and killed in Los Angeles by police.

protest

The murders and shootings have riled up the psyches of African-Americans across the country and has garnered international attention as the open season on black males seem to continue unabated. -OnPointPress.net.