Tag: Ferguson protests

John Legend and Chrissy Teigen Hire Food Trucks to Feed Protesters in New York

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend (ANDREW GOODMAN/GETTY IMAGES)

Despite New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s prediction that public demonstrations over the Eric Garner and Ferguson Grand Jury decisions would “peter out,” the protests are still going strong thanks, in part, to a generous contribution from musician John Legend and his wife model and food blogger Chrissy Teigen. The couple purchased a fleet of food trucks to serve up free food to hungry protesters in New York’s Lincoln Square.

Though neither Legend or Teigen is on the ground or taking direct credit for the trucks, Teigen did retweet the following message to her 500,000 followers:

https://twitter.com/ophelporhush/status/541671670797574144

For his part, Legend has let his art do the talking for him. The musician (who was just nominated for several Grammy awards) co-wrote a stirring track from the upcoming (and sadly timely) film Selma about the three Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965 which led to to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

The track, entitled “Glory,” contains the lyrics: “That’s why Rosa sat on the bus/That’s why we walk through Ferguson with our hands up.”

article by Joanna Robinson via vanityfair.com

Ferguson Police Department to Seek More Black Recruits; No Severance for Darren Wilson

March from Ferguson to Jefferson City
NAACP members and supporters pass by an auto parts store in Ferguson, Mo., that was destroyed by rioters as they walk Saturday on the first day of a planned seven-day, 120-mile march to the governor’s mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri’s capital. (Scott Olson / Getty Images)

Knowles spoke at a news conference a day after Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown on Aug. 9, resigned from the police force. Wilson did not receive severance pay, Knowles said.

Also Sunday, the White House announced that President Obama would hold several Ferguson-related events Monday.  Obama will meet with his Cabinet to discuss federal programs and funding that provide equipment to state and local law enforcement agencies.  Then he will meet with civil rights leaders and later with law enforcement officials and community and faith leaders “to discuss how communities and law enforcement can work together to build trust,” the White House said.

In Ferguson, the mayor said that adding a civilian review board and recruiting more African Americans would help improve the predominantly white police department’s relationship with Ferguson’s predominantly African American residents.

“We are committed to rebuilding our city,” Knowles said. “And a part of that is having officers invested in the community.”

In addition, Knowles said, the city will unveil a program in public schools that will aim to forge a bond between police officers and young people.

“We are here for you and will not leave you,” Knowles told residents.

For much of the last week, sometimes-violent protests have roiled the St. Louis suburb of about 21,000 after the grand jury’s decision.

When Wilson resigned Saturday, he said in a letter that he was told his “continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the city of Ferguson at risk.”

“It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal,” Wilson wrote. “I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process.”

Wilson’s lawyer, Neil Bruntrager, said the officer had resigned after learning of threats of violence against other officers and the department.  Knowles said Sunday he was unaware of any specific threats to Wilson and did not give him a deadline for a resignation.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Sunday he would not resign, despite widespread criticism from protesters and calls for him to step down.  “My focus has been on safety and security of citizens,” Jackson said. “I report to the leadership of Ferguson. I’m concerned about the city. I will not resign.”

Jackson said he spoke with Wilson last week and was unaware of any specific threats to him. But Jackson added, “It’s been a threatening environment all along. Everybody knows that.”

Separately, Benjamin Crump, a lawyer representing Brown’s family, said Sunday that Wilson’s resignation was no surprise.

“The family will pursue all the legal avenues,” Crump told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Crump said a wrongful-death lawsuit could be filed in the near future.

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Attorney General Eric Holder Announces Plan To End Racial Profiling “Once And For All”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder gestures as he speaks to members of the community during an interfaith service at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Dec. 1 in Atlanta. (David Goldman/Associated Press)

Addressing the state of race and policing relations, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that he plans to introduce new policies that will end racial profiling “once and for all.”

Speaking to a capacity crowd at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where the 1960s civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher, Holder said he’d lay out specific policy changes in the coming days, but acknowledged that the events in Ferguson, Missouri, had laid bare significant issues regarding policing and race relations.

“The issues raised in Missouri are not unique to that state or small city,” he said.

Tackling those issues would require systemic changes and a commitment at the federal, state, and local levels to change how law enforcement interacts with the public.  “Our police officers cannot be, or be viewed as, an occupying force, disconnected to the communities they serve,” Holder said. “Bonds that have been broken must be restored; bonds that never existed must be created.”

Part of that effort, he added, would be “rigorous new standards and robust safeguards to help end racial profiling once and for all.”

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St. Louis Rams Players Show Support for Ferguson Protesters in Sunday’s Pre-Game

Screen Shot 2014-12-01 at 2.55.42 PM
Members of the Rams raised their arms during pregame introductions as a salute to nearby Ferguson, Missouri. (CBS Sports)

ST. LOUIS — Five Rams players used the team’s pregame introductions to offer a show of support for nearby Ferguson before Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

As the offense was introduced, Rams tight end Jared Cook and receivers Kenny BrittStedman BaileyChris Givens and Tavon Austin stopped near the tunnel and raised their hands in a nod to the fatal shooting of teenager Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.  (Wilson’s resignation from the police force was announced Saturday.)

“We kind of came collectively together and decided we wanted to do something,” Cook said. “We haven’t been able to go down to Ferguson to do anything because we have been busy. Secondly, it’s kind of dangerous down there and none of us want to get caught up in anything.

“So we wanted to come out and show our respect to the protests and the people who have been doing a heck of a job around the world.”

Earlier this week, the Rams spent time lamenting the fact that there wasn’t much they could do to help right now with the unrest in Ferguson. But Cook said he plans to go to Ferguson once things settle down.

“My sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law — all of them went this past week for Thanksgiving,” Cook said. “They came back and reported to me about the things they saw and what was going on around there. Definitely, I will be making a trip to Ferguson.”

Britt claimed that he and his teammates were not “taking sides” with their display.

“We wanted to show that we are organized for a great cause and something positive comes out of it,” Britt said. “That’s what we hope we can make happen. That’s our community. We wanted to let the community know that we support the community.”

Continue reading “St. Louis Rams Players Show Support for Ferguson Protesters in Sunday’s Pre-Game”

Officer Who Pointed Rifle at Ferguson Protester Suspended Indefinitely

A police officer who pointed his assault rifle at a demonstrator in Ferguson, Missouri, has been suspended indefinitely, authorities said Wednesday.

The unidentified officer from the St. Ann Police Department pointed his weapon after he became involved in an argument Tuesday night with the protester, according to Officer Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Police Department.

Schellman said a supervising officer intervened, ordered the officer to lower his weapon and took him away from the area.

“The unified command strongly feel these actions are inappropriate, and not indicative of the officers who have worked daily, to keep the peace,” according to a statement from the County Police department.

Calls to St. Ann police officials seeking comment were not immediately returned.

article by James Queally via latimes.com