Representative John Lewis is largely regarded as a civil rights icon, so this mess in Ferguson, Missouri, has him outraged. The Democratic congressman from Georgia called for President Obama to enact Martial Law in Ferguson on Thursday, as he believes that law enforcement has acted with excessive force against peaceful protesters. Here are a couple pictures of those “peaceful” protesters.
On Thursday, Obama held a press conference in which he too called the rioting and looting of St. Louis blacks “peaceful”. Lewis said during an interview on MSNBC:
“My own feeling is right now is that President Obama should use the authority of his office to declare martial law, federalize the Missouri National Guard to protect people as they protest. People should come together—reasonable elected officials, community leaders—and address what is happening there. If you fail to act, the fires of frustration and discontent will continue to burn, not only in Ferguson, Missouri, but all across America.”
Lewis believes that some of the disconnect between members of law enforcement and the citizens of the northern suburbs of St. Louis stems from the fact that it is largely a black community, however, out of the 53 officers on the police force, only three are black. Lewis said:
“How can you have a city and expect to have peace and order and when there’s very few symbols or representatives of the people making up the public safety department of the city?”
The problem is likely not that the police department intentionally does not hire black individuals, but more likely that the vast majority of the black community living in northern St. Louis would not even come close to qualifying for the job. You can’t be a cop if you have a criminal record, and unfortunately, that disqualifies a lot of the black community there.
Do you think Obama should enact Martial Law in Ferguson, Missouri? If he does, it would be much different than what happened in the 60’s, like Lewis spoke to MSNBC about. Give us your take on this situation in the comments section.