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December 28, 2014
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Ear to the Ground

Civil Rights Leaders Make the Case for Peace in Wake of Michael Brown Shooting (Video)

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Posted on Aug 12, 2014

  The Rev. Al Sharpton speaks during Tuesday’s march in Ferguson, Mo. NBC screen shot

While acknowledging the outrage that followed the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday after the unarmed teenager was shot in a police car by a still-unnamed police officer, on Tuesday activists like the Rev. Al Sharpton emphasized the need for calm and justice as the case is investigated.

Clashes broke out between protesters and police in the St. Louis area on Sunday and Monday, and officers used tear gas and rubber bullets on some demonstrators in Ferguson on Monday night.

Also read: Justice for Eric Garner: Street Protests and Prosecutions Will Not End Police Brutality

Community leaders have called for government intervention, and the FBI has launched an inquest. But the request that the police officer responsible for shooting Brown—who, according to witnesses, had his hands in the air when he was killed—be identified has so far gone unanswered.

Sharpton, along with Brown’s parents and dozens of protesters, staged a march on the Ferguson police station Tuesday, emphasizing the need to honor Brown’s memory by refusing to answer violence with violence. “To become violent in Michael Brown’s name is to betray the gentle giant that he was,” he said.

The BBC reported about the march that day:

“The local authorities have put themselves in a position, hiding names, not being transparent, where people will not trust anything but an objective investigation,” Mr Sharpton said.

Dozens of people have been arrested since Sunday, when unrest broke out in the town following Brown’s death.

The Tuesday protests were peaceful if tense, but they came after police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse a large crowd in Ferguson the night before.

Watch Sharpton’s speech below:

Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, made an impassioned speech on Sunday to local news station KMOV (via YouTube):

—Posted by Kasia Anderson

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