Reporting From Ferguson, Missouri–Grand Jury Watch #5, “Ferguson–Potential Political Fallout For The Administration?”
Photo Credit: Protesters gather across the street from the Ferguson, Mo., police station. | AP Photo
Obama urged a small group of the nation’s top civil rights leaders and their organizations to work to keep the peace while ensuring protesters’ free-speech rights. | AP Photo
[Excerpt From Politico, November 13, 2014. For the record, I am on the side of wanting to see justice for the family of young Michael Brown. It is my intention to post excerpts of mainstream news media reporting from the viewpoint of all actors, including those with whose viewpoints I vehemently disagree.]
President Obama fears potential Ferguson fallout
By Jennifer Epstein
11/12/14 8:41 PM EST
Updated 11/13/14 9:52 AM EST
Obama also has to be careful to avoid looking “like I’m putting my thumb on the scales one way or the other,” as he put it in August, while both the Justice Department and Ferguson Police Department conduct criminal investigation into Brown’s killing. If Obama or Holder appears to be taking a stance on Wilson’s culpability, their words or actions could force the dismissal of the case.
“He has a tremendous bully pulpit,” Rev. Al Sharpton said of Obama. “But it has to be used at the right time or it could hurt us more than help us.” Sharpton has been the key liaison between the White House, the Brown family and protesters, speaking frequently to Obama and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett, and also attending last week’s meeting. He plans to be in Ferguson when the indictment decision is made public.
Despite the limits of his authority in preventing unrest in Ferguson, Obama would likely bear a substantial amount of blame if violence were break out in Ferguson or elsewhere after the grand jury’s decision is announced, other attendees of last week’s White House meeting said.
“When you have a crisis, it is beyond partisanship and politics,” said Marc Morial, the president of the National Urban League and a former mayor of New Orleans. “Everybody gets the credit and the blame.” . . .
[Video Credit: CNN–Missouri Governor Declares State of Emergency, rebuildthedream, YouTube, 6:50 Minutes]
Please pay special attention to the comments of forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht beginning at Minute 4:45 of this video.
[Credit: AP, Police Officers, Ferguson, MO, 9/19/14]
[Reprint From CBS News. Since this is a reprint of a CBS News post, not an original post, allow me to say that I disagree with many of the characterizations presented in this piece. Overall, I think that this article lacks balance, and amounts to a “smear” against the citizens of Ferguson, especially its Black Community. It is my intention to post random news reports leading up to, and after, the Grand Jury decision is handed down. Personally, I want “justice” for the family of Mr Michael Brown, not a whitewash of the case.]
CBS News, November 18, 2014, 1:04 AM
FBI: Violence could follow Ferguson indictment decision
The FBI has issued an intelligence bulletin to state and local partners urging them to be aware of the potential for violent protests after the Ferguson, Missouri grand jury issues its decision on whether or not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. That decision is expected in the next week or so.
The FBI warns that the announcement of the grand jury’s decision “will likely be exploited by some individuals to justify threats and attacks against law enforcement and critical infrastructure,” according to the bulletin.
The bulletin, which went out last Friday, is not based on intelligence or specific threats, but rather on “observed criminal and violent activity” in the weeks after Brown’s death, a law enforcement official told CBS News’ Bob Orr.
“Internet postings have called for violence against police,” noted the official who told CBS News about the bulletin, calling the alert to law enforcement officers a “common sense” move taken out of an abundance of caution.
Wilson, a white police officer, shot Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black male, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson on Aug. 9.
On Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard in advance of a grand jury decision, also fearing the tense street clashes between police and protesters which have manifested since the incident could rekindle, and possibly get violent.
“My hope and expectation is that peace will prevail,” Nixon said. “But we have a responsibility — I have a responsibility — to plan for any contingencies that might arise.”
There is no specific date for a decision to be revealed about whether Wilson should face charges for shooting Brown. The St. Louis County prosecutor has said he expects the grand jury to reach a decision in mid-to-late November.
New video evidence was released over the weekend in the case, adding to already heightened tensions.
For the most part, the recent actions of the state and local governments in Missouri will only serve to further exacerbate an already tense situation.
I am very concerned that martial law is going to be imposed on a long-term basis in Ferguson, partly in order to thwart media access to the town’s citizenry.
Even more depressing than this move by a Democratic Party Governor, is the fact that ‘police [departments] nationwide brace for protests after Ferguson [Grand Jury] decision.’
What this means, depends upon the locale.
. . . in Berkeley, Missouri, a town neighboring Ferguson, officials this week passed out fliers urging residents to be prepared for unrest just as they would a major storm – with plenty of food, water and medicine in case they’re unable to leave home for several days.