Politics

Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman: Police In Ferguson Doing "More Harm Than Good"

As the protests in Ferguson continue, CBC chairwoman Marcia Fudge had strong words for the St. Louis County police department.

Ferguson, Missouri August 13, 2014. Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

WASHINGTON — The chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus said in a statement Thursday the actions of the police in Ferguson, Missouri, reminded her of wars and uprisings abroad.

“An elected official was arrested, journalists are being assaulted and innocent, unarmed individuals are having weapons pointed in their faces for merely being outside of their homes,” said Rep. Marcia Fudge. “What I saw last night reminded me of violent responses to uprisings in countries around the world, not here in my own backyard. We are supposed to be better than that.”

Earlier this week, Fudge and other members of the CBC called on the Department of Justice to expand the scope of their investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was killed by police on Aug. 9.

Fudge was strongly critical of the St. Louis police department, which has clashed with protestors since Brown’s death.

“If the St. Louis County Police Department’s intent is to deescalate the situation in Ferguson, the way in which they have proceeded is a counterproductive means to that end, and they are doing much more harm than good,” she said.

Read the full remarks below:


“What we saw happen in Ferguson last night does not reflect the ideals of this nation. Peaceful protests are the way citizens of this nation have exercised their first amendment rights to freedom of expression, assembly and the right to petition. This is what many of the people in Ferguson, Missouri have chosen to do. But, instead of being respected as citizens of this nation who have the right to vocally oppose what they believe is mistreatment these people, many of whom are young adults, were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and police equipped as though they are militia in a war zone. An elected official was arrested, journalists are being assaulted and innocent, unarmed individuals are having weapons pointed in their faces for merely being outside of their homes. What I saw last night reminded me of violent responses to uprisings in countries around the world, not here in my own backyard. We are supposed to be better than that. Law enforcement is supposed to protect and serve, not search, intimidate and assault. If the St. Louis County Police Department’s intent is to deescalate the situation in Ferguson, the way in which they have proceeded is a counterproductive means to that end, and they are doing much more harm than good.”

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Kate Nocera is the managing editor for BuzzFeed’s Washington, D.C. bureau. Nocera is a recipient of the National Press Foundation's 2014 Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting on Congress.
Contact Kate Nocera at kate.nocera@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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