Club Enlightenment, a beacon of hope for Jamaican students (Part I)

L-R: M Club Enlightenment members Malik Vernon, Christopher Menzies, KayAnn Harrison, Club Enlightenment Executive Director Hector Stevens, Samara Brown, Social Media Marketing Coordinator of OnPointPress.net and Kimani Veron.

L-R: Club Enlightenment members Malik Vernon, Christopher Menzies, KayAnn Harrison, Club Enlightenment Executive Director Hector Stevens, Samara Brown, Social Media Marketing Coordinator for OnPointPress.net and Kimani Vernon.-Charles Glover Photo.

By Carmen Glover

During the period when he attended the prestigious high school Kingston College, in Kingston, Jamaica, Hector Stevens developed the gift of gab. As he progressed to the University of Technology, known in the 1980s as the College of Arts, Science and Technology, he majored in mechanical engineering while continuing to eagerly discuss ways to improve the circumstances faced by students across the island. It is therefore unsurprising that Stevens has harnessed his diverse interests and corralled them under one broad umbrella with the establishment of Club Enlightenment, an organization designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop a plan of action for their lives.

“The idea for Club Enlightenment ‎was conceived on November 23, 2013 because of my observations at the time that that the youth didn’t know how to think,” Stevens said, musing over the club’s genesis. “The objective for the club was to discover my life purpose in terms of mind, health, body and wealth then share that with students so that they could improve their lives.”  For Stevens, the journey to self-discovery stemmed from past turmoil in his life.

Chris

Christopher Menzies received rousing applause after singing two songs for the guests.

“After 19 years working for a company I was fired because different management took over and they wanted to micro-manage me‎. They changed the whole culture and I wasn’t in alignment ” he explained. “After my dismissal I did some soul-searching for two years.” In retrospect, Stevens ‎realized that his period of introspection centered squarely on five specific areas of his life: mind and body, which he addressed through rigorous participation at the gym; reading a lot to develop new tools; Learning to relax because, as he described it, “Over the years I was working 14-hour-days so I decided to get more rest so that I could think clearer;” developing a new way to support his family and establishing a spiritual base.

The two-year hiatus stretched into four years, while friends and family eyed Stevens with mild to intense curiosity and some measure of skepticism as they wondered: What is going on with Hector? But Stevens continued to march to the beat of his own drum, convinced that God was leading him to fulfill his intrinsic purpose in life.

Club Enlightenment Executive Director Hector Stevens is committed to steering students to a path of discipline and success.

Club Enlightenment Executive Director Hector Stevens is committed to steering students to a path of discipline and success.

“After four years of self-discovery and self-expression I wanted to impart a new way of thinking on teenagers that I met in a social setting, particularly playing football” said‎ the former college soccer player. But the transition to his role as executive director of Club Enlightenment was not entirely smooth and the students that Stevens wanted to mentor were shrewd. They double-checked what he said and conducted surreptitious stake-out exercises to ensure that his actions matched his words. Once be passed their investigations, a process about which he was blissfully unaware, the students, who fondly refer to Stevens as “Uncle Hector,” approached him to have a series of conversations, from which the framework for Club Enlightenment emerged.

“Most of us are seeking more than the shallowness of life,” said Christopher Menzies, 19, a versatile singer, producer and writer who treated the OnPointPress.net staff and other guests to stirring musical renditions as a prelude to this interview on Sunday, August 17 in St, Catherine, Jamaica. Kimani Vernon, 20, a chemical engineering major at the University of Technology (UTECH) in Kingston, agreed.”We were searching for something new,” he said. For Kimani’s 17-year-old brother Malik, a computer science major also at UTECH the pull of Club Enlightenment was fueled by a desire to escape a cloud of darkness that had enveloped his psyche. “I wanted a solution. I wanted to wake up and smile,” he said, “Uncle Hector told me to think positive and after a while I became happier.” Kay Ann Harrison, 24, who is interested in writing a book about her life, found Club Enlightenment and clung to it like a weary desert traveler who gets a sip of water to quench her parched lips.

Club Enlightenment Executive Director Hector Stevens, KayAnn Harrison and Christopher Menzies share their thoughts about the club with OnPointPress.net staff.

Club Enlightenment Executive Director Hector Stevens, KayAnn Harrison and Christopher Menzies share their thoughts about the club with OnPointPress.net staff.

“When I left high school I was isolated. I would stay home alone, no interaction. In my family, I could not speak my mind. I was shut down,” she recalled. And then she discovered the power of the pen. “I began to write poems. With Club Enlightenment, instead of being fearful I came to assess things differently. I’ve learned that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear,” she said, explaining that her defining moment came when she got a job in sales and had to speak persuasively. “I decided to face my fear,” said the former reserved young lady. “These days I wake up and visualize the day that I want to have that day.”

Malik, who experienced clashes with his father in the past, said Club Enlightenment has changed his outlook and impulses. “I thought I was treated unfairly because I questioned everything and I wanted to be accepted.,” Club Enlightenment changed all of that, he said, “Uncle Hector told me to tell my dad that I loved him and listen to him. I have a friend who was in the exact situation but he didn’t want to listen.” Through his involvement with Club Enlightenment, Malik has developed the capacity to communicate his thoughts respectfully and listen to his parents and other adults, even when he disagrees with their perspectives. His older brother Kimani, said he was “on the other side of the spectrum,” from his sibling. “I was a perfectionist and people used to tell me I looked sad. Meeting Uncle Hector helped me smile more,” he said, an intense expression creasing his face. “I realize that my father is going to be himself and that I get most of my personality traits from my mother who is more laid back.”

Musician Christpher Menzies entertained with songs.

Musician Christopher Menzies entertained with songs.

Upon reflection, Menzies realizes that he has come into his own due to his involvement with Club Enlightenment. “My household was dysfunctional and I was trying to get out of that environment. I used to talk to Kimani, who is my neighbor and schoolmate,” he said. “I used to always hear him talk about Uncle Hector and the group. I talked to Uncle Hector and he gave me words of wisdom.” Menzies said that his involvement with Club Enlightenment came “when things took a big turn in my life. I got kicked out of my home but I was determined not to let that deter me from succeeding.” With the help of Club Enlightenment and Kimani, Menzies said things are getting better. “I’m on a journey to become a more positive person,” he said, and his music helps to keep him grounded. “I sing, write and produce,” he said. “I try to record myself to see if I’m getting better. If I get a chance to sing for people, I do it.”

Stevens said that the camaraderie provided by Club Enlightenment’s participants lead to a strong, supportive community that bolsters students’ self-esteem and highlights their innate talents. As the club approaches its first anniversary, Stevens is exploring ideas to expand the programs and services he offers so that current and future students can develop a broader range of skills and expertise. “My aim for Club Enlightenment is to expand in other venues, such as high schools,” he said. Judging from his track record of listening to his heart and depending on it to guide him, Stevens will undoubtedly achieve all his future goals for the club, and more.-OnPointPress.net.

New York’s anti-police brutality march highlights national plight

Marchers voice anger against police brutality.
Marchers voice anger against police brutality.

According to estimates, more than 4,000 demonstrators marched peacefully on Staten Island in New York on Saturday, August 23 to seek justice for victims of police brutality across the nation. The marchers gathered early, many arriving via buses, eager to voice their displeasure against the national scourge of police brutality that disproportionately targets African-American and Latino males, many of whom are unarmed.

Protesters march in Staten Island while police provide security.
Protesters march in Staten Island while police provide security.

Shouting various slogans to honor the memories of specific victims, the marchers expressed themselves in an orderly manner, with the full support of police officers and honorary marshals who kept the crowd controlled. “I can’t breathe,” some yelled, shouting the last words heard being uttered by Eric Garner, the Staten Islander who was killed when police officers subjected him to an illegal chokehold.

Marchers share their anti-police brutality messages in New York on Saturday, August 23.
Marchers share their anti-police brutality messages in New York on Saturday, August 23.

“Hands up, Don’t shoot,” others shouted, in honor of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, whose murder at the hands of police in Ferguson, Missouri, has roiled the nation for two weeks with Ferguson only returning to a period of calm after the visit and public support from U.S Attorney General Eric Holder, who shared his “humiliation” at being targeted by police in the past due to his skin color.

March against police brutality.
March against police brutality.

The New York march was an important reminder that a united response is required in order to consistently attack police brutality. The date for the march was symbolic as well. Organized by Garner’s family and the Reverend Al. Sharpton, the march occurred exactly 25 years after African-American teenager Yusuf Hawkins was brutally beaten with bats and murdered by a mob of white young adults in Bensonhurst. Despite the time that has elapsed since Hawkins’ murder, black men and boys continue to be unjustly targeted by police officers and other segments of society for harsh treatment, often leading to death. Marching, organizing and coordinating efforts for change are vital tools that must be utilized consistently to address this attack on black life.–OnPointPress.net

Trinidadian soca artist Bunji Garlin heats up the music scene

Bunji Garlin has been making waves with his new album.

Bunji Garlin has been making waves with his new album.-Photo by Jonathan Mannion.

By Tiffany Mea

Soca artist Bunji Garlin broke ground when his new album, “Differentology” was live streamed on NPR recently. The unwavering, distinctive quality of Bunji Garlin’s soca brand has brought the artist consistent success at carnival in his Trinidad and Tobago birthplace for the past 15 years. With the release of his “Differentology” album on August 12th, a joint venture between RCA Records and the world’s largest Caribbean music label VP Records, Garlin is poised to take soca worldwide. NPR described Garlin’s music in positive terms, stating that it featured “exceedingly danceable beats that fuse the island’s irresistible calypso with EDM and hip-hop, as well as the traditional East Indian bhangra.”

Born Ian Alvarez, Bunji Garlin, also known as the “Viking of Soca” is known for his high-energy stage shows, lyrical confidence and eloquence. The Trinidadian artist and international soca royalty is both a composer and performer of soca and ragga soca. The latter is a blend of soca with dancehall music that he made his own during the start of his career in the late ’90s. He has won the “Ragga Soca Monarch” competition in both 2000 and 2001, the Young King title in 2001, the coveted title of International Soca Monarch in 2002 and then reclaimed this title for three more years. Throughout his career, Garlin has released eight albums independently and two additional albums on VP Records, including Revelation (2002) and Global (2007).

image

The album’s title track is a testament to Garlin’s universal appeal. Produced by Sheriff Mumbles in 2012, “Differentology” transcended the Caribbean carnival circuit almost a year after it was released in 2012. The song received critical praise across the board such as 2013 Soul Train Award and MTV Iggy Song of the Year. It also got heavy rotation on Urban and Top 40 radio, exposure on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy show and airplay at NBA arenas including Barclays Center and Air Canada Centre as well as NYC’s Golden Gloves Boxing tournament. The Major Lazer remix of the track (also featured on new album) was a catalyst that put the EDM-fused track in front of a new audience.

Many of the album’s hits are imbued with dancehall and hip-hop influences, as celebrated on “Touchless” and “Gi Dem Dey,” both of which are produced by Trinidad’s Klase Gonzales of 1st Klase Productions. Garlin delivers his inimitable Trini-accented flow over the hip-hop track “West Indian Jungle,” produced by Jason Farmer, whose credits include hits with Keyshia Cole, Estelle and Rihanna. He teams up with A$AP Ferg on the Doc & Jes trap remix of his carnival 2014 smash “Truck On D Road.”

“I think a lot of great opportunities for soca to conquer new territories are going to come from this album, so I couldn’t ask for a better situation to be in,” he said of the album. Garlin will perform in New York city on August 29 @ JBL Live at Pier 97 (HOT 97 On Da Reggae Tip), August  31 @ Webster Hall (Five Alarm Blaze) in New York City, NY and September 1 @ Eastern Parkway West Indian Day Parade (Power 105 Truck) in Brooklyn, NY-OnPointPress.net.

Jamaica undertakes extensive mapping initiative for Diaspora cohesion (Part 1)

minister

The Hon. Arnaldo Brown, M.P., Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, poses with OnPointPress.net’s Editorial Director Mrs. Carmen Glover, and Mrs. Rukiya Brown, of IOM, after an interview about the Mapping Jamaica Diaspora (MJD) Project at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Monday, August 18, 2014. –Charles Glover Photo.

By Carmen Glover

Heeding feedback that emerged from the Diaspora Conference held in Jamaica a year ago, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade has partnered with the International Organization for Migration, IOM‎, to compile a database of Jamaicans across the globe via mapping of their location through voluntary completion of an online survey. The extensive effort is described as the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora (MJD) Project and its objective is to determine, through responses to the survey, specific areas of interest expressed by Jamaicans across the globe and then harness the information to “create a borderless Jamaica.” The survey instrument is dual in nature, one to be completed by individuals and one by organizations and business entities.

The survey instrument was developed in December 2013 and the mapping project officially launched in June 2014. the minister of state, who is responsible for the project, recently visited the New York Tri-state area to launch the international version of the initiative and solicit support from the community in New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Upon his return to Jamaica, the minister of state met with OnPointPress.net in Kingston at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade on Monday, August 18 for an interview brokered by Assistant Director in the Ministry of Diaspora and Consular Affairs Department Mr. Lincoln Downer. Hon. Arnaldo Brown, Mrs. Rukiya Brown of the IOM (no relation to the minister) and Ms. Ann-Margaret Lim, who spearheads media affairs regarding the initiative, provided an overview of the project and feedback generated to date.

arnaldo brown

The Hon. Arnaldo Brown M.P, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is aggressively promoting the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora (MJD) Project.

“I th‎ink the response has been good” said the state minister, evaluating his week-long trip to the United States. “The mapping project is not a new idea. It’s been on the table since 2004. This particular project is the first in collaboration with the IOM.”

He explained that the project is funded by the IOM to the tune of US$100, 000. Rukiya Brown, who has provided insight on behalf of the IOM, explained that while the main thrust of the mapping project is to encourage brisk completion of the survey, the demographic tool experienced a myriad of growing pains initially.

“The survey is accessible on the IOM system and we had problems with the IP address at first but those issues were fixed,” she said. She further ‎explained that with the survey now properly streamlined, “IOM gets updates from the IP specialist three times per week to tell us how many people have taken the survey and how many people have subscribed to the website to get more information and our newsletter.”

diaspora conf

Concrete ideas for the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora (MJD) Project were explored at the Jamaica Diaspora Conference 2013. The 2015 conference will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica in June.

‎Despite the period of time that has elapsed since the launch in June, only 300 persons had completed the survey as of the interview date with OnPointPress.net. But State Minister Brown shrugged off concerns about the low numbers at this stage of the process.

“I’m optimistic that we will meet our target. There is a build up that is happening and we will continue to plug it,” he said, explaining that the survey “is online and can be downloaded wherever you have Internet access. The issue is not whether people are supportive of the idea but if people are taking the survey.” He explained that during his week-long trip to the New York Tri-state area between August 9 to 17, he was heartened by the interest and commitment espoused by members of the Diaspora there.

“We got the support of Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson, who attended the Independence Ball in New York last weekend. In his statement he mentioned the mapping project and encouraged people to sign up.”

ann

OnPointPress.net’s co-founders Charles and Carmen Glover pose with Ms. Ann-Margaret Lim after the interview.

But why would a Jamaican who resides overseas complete such a survey in the first place and is there a risk of personal information being compromised? According to information provided by Ms. Brown, the survey can be completed by anyone of Jamaican heritage by birth, descent, marriage, naturalization or registration. Hon. Brown explained that the potential benefits to be derived from completing of the survey ‎are far-reaching, with no discernible drawback since the information provided will be closely guarded and only used for the purpose outlined.

“There are two aspects to the project: reaching individuals and organizations, businesses etc,” the state minister explained. “This is an 18-month project. Between December 2013‎ to June 2014 it was the technical phase. The first six months was the construction of the website. The next twelve months is the promotion of the site. After June of next year people will still be able to take the survey,” he said, indicating that the process of survey completion will be ongoing. Once June 2015 rolls around, the database will be compiled of individuals who have taken the survey to that point. The advantages to participating, he said are immeasurable. Stating that Angel Investors will be developed, the state minister said:

OnPointPress.net's co-founders Charles and Carmen Glover share a moment with Mrs. Rukiya Brown of IOM, after the interview.

OnPointPress.net’s co-founders Charles and Carmen Glover share a moment with Mrs. Rukiya Brown of IOM, after the interview.

“Once you know where the person you can use the information. We plan to plug this information into JAMPRO’s Global Business Connect which will launch later this year.”

Inclusion in the database that will be complied from the completed survey ‎can make it easier for Jamaicans in the Diaspora who plan to return to Jamaica to live, work or to launch businesses, he said.

“The government of Jamaica has never ruled out the possibility of recruiting anywhere from across the Diaspora for positions available, example the commissioner of police,” he said. ‎”The idea is to create a database that is dynamic in access to intellectual ideas.”

The Hon. Arnaldo Brown, M.P, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is being proactive and aggressive in promoting the Mapping Jamaica's Diaspora (MJD) Project.

The Hon. Arnaldo Brown, M.P, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade is being proactive and aggressive in promoting the Mapping Jamaica’s Diaspora (MJD) Project.

The promotion efforts for the mapping project are being coordinated through the various missions and consulates across the globe. Among the notable Jamaicans who have pledged support to the effort are track icon Merlene Ottey as well as various civic leaders. Participation is key, the minister explained, urging Jamaicans to embrace the slogan: “You count, I count, we all count,” in completing the survey so that their voices can be heard.In an effort to maximize the survey completion process, Ms. Brown, from the IOM, said that social media tools are being utilized aggressively.

“Currently we have a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter.” However, she acknowledged that there is no involvement on LinkedIn despite that medium being the main engine used by businesses and professionals. “We’ve been active on social media but not as active as we would like to be,” she explained, but she said that will change.

To take the mapping survey visit: www.mapjadiaspora.iom.int, Twitter:@MapJaDiaspora, Facebook: MapJADiaspora.iom.int, Instragram:MapJaDiaspora. (In September, we will share feedback from the Diaspora)-OnPointPress.net.

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.