McCaskill: 'Demilitarize' Cops' Response in Ferguson

Obama calls for calm as Anonymous claims to ID officer

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 14, 2014 12:37 PM CDT

(Newser) – The unrelenting protests in Ferguson, Mo., after the police shooting of Michael Brown clearly have the full attention of Washington now. Both President Obama and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill weighed in today, while Anonymous claimed to ID the officer who did the shooting. Details:

  • McCaskill: Speaking at a local church, she got a standing ovation when she said St. Louis County must "demilitarize the police response," reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Afterward, she told reporters that the "police response has been part of the problem."
  • Obama: The president called for "peace and calm" and a transparent investigation, reports USA Today. He said there's no excuse for police to use excessive force against protesters, but nor is there "an excuse for violence against police or those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting." He also criticized police for arresting journalists at the protests.
  • Gov. Jay Nixon: Speaking after McCaskill at the same church, he promised an "operational shift" in police tactics. "You will see a different tone," he said, promising details later.

  • Anonymous: The hacker collective claimed to identify via Twitter the officer who shot the unarmed Brown last weekend, though police say the name is wrong, reports Reuters. Anonymous is standing by its post, while authorities are standing by their decision to keep the officer unidentified for safety reasons. "We can't let anonymous groups or even public groups pressure us into doing anything we don't think we should do," said a spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecutor's office. (Anonymous previously released police audio from the night of the shooting.)

A march organized by area ministers takes place in Ferguson on Wednesday.
A march organized by area ministers takes place in Ferguson on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes)
Police in riot gear watch protesters in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday.
Police in riot gear watch protesters in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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