PRESIDENT OBAMA CALLS FOR POLICE TRAINING FUNDS AS ST. LOUIS GRAND JURY PROTESTS SPREAD
On Monday, December 1st, President Barack Obama continued to weigh in on what USA TODAY flashed as a headline this past Sunday, “Ferguson could spark a new civil rights era.” The president convened a meeting at the White House of law enforcement, politicians, civil rights, and youth leaders and called for $263 Million for additional training for police officers and law enforcement reforms. He also made a commitment to use the remainder of his presidency to improve relations between minority communities and law enforcement. The president stated, “I think Ferguson laid bare a problem that is not unique to St. Louis or that area and is not unique to our time and that is a simmering distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities of color. In the two years I have remaining as president I am going to make sure that we follow through”.
Protests continued as a result of the St. Louis County Grand Jury’s decision to not indict Police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The growing dissent continues to reverberate around the nation more than a week after the announcement and throughout the Thanksgiving holidays. Rioting broke out in Ferguson, Missouri on Monday November 24th following the revelation of the grand jury’s controversial judgment. Looting, widespread mayhem, arson and vandalism jarred the commercial business district in this St. Louis suburb. However, the protests spread throughout the United States which reportedly were more peaceful than violent as shopping malls and urban streets were invaded by protestors of all races, colors, and ages with chants of, “Hands up! Don’t shoot”! The demonstrations spread to Washington D.C., New York City, Oakland, San Antonio, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, Portland, Boston, and even some smaller cities.
Pensacola, Florida’s famous native son, Joe Scarborough, the popular MSNBC early morning television host focused a segment of his Monday December 1st “Morning Joe” program to rebuke both the protestors and the media coverage of the ongoing argument. The former Florida Republican congressman, also, spoke out against the symbolic gestures of the five St. Louis Rams professional football players who showed support of the demonstrators by raising their hands as they entered the football field during their game on Sunday. Scarborough was quoted as saying, “I’m sorry, this Ram thing, this was the final straw for me. I have sat here quietly and listened to BS being spewed all over this network and all over other networks. I can’t take it anymore,” a frustrated Scarborough asserted.
Nevertheless, Scarborough did say publicly that he agreed with the protesters on the point that the justice system racially discriminates against young black men, however, he was adamant that Brown’s case is not necessarily a clear example of that issue. Scarborough also described some of the guests on his MSNBC news show for agreeing with him in one on one conversations, but refusing to share how they feel on the air.