Obama urges calm in Ferguson ahead of Michael Brown verdict

Obama urges calm in Ferguson ahead of Michael Brown verdict
By Euronews
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Tensions are running high in Ferguson, Missouri between police and protesters with a decision imminent on whether to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in August.

The FBI have arrested two men suspected of buying explosives to detonate during protests in Ferguson Missouri once the grand jury releases its final verdict in the Michael Brown case.

Two more arrests were made overnight prompting a plea for calm from President Barack Obama.

“Well I think first and foremost, keep protests peaceful. You know, this is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they are think are unjust, but using any event for the use of violence is contrary to the rule of law and contrary to who we are.”

Obama’s plea was echoed by the father of Michael Brown. In a video posted online he said, “hurting others or destroying property is not the answer”.

Weeks of sometimes violent protests followed the shooting, calling for the arrest of the police officer involved, Darren Wilson.

The case focused attention on strained US race relations. Many in the African American community are calling for Wilson to be charged with murder.

During a face-off between police and protesters overnight, one of the demonstrators could be heard saying:

“You and your officers are doing the wrong thing. You’re protecting somebody for no reason.”

Though it’s not clear when the verdict will be announced, the US attorney general has declared a state of emergency, calling in extra troops should charges not be filed against the officer. According to anonymous sources quoted by CNN, Wilson is in considering resigning from the force.

He is currently on administrative leave and could return to the force if charges aren’t filed.

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