John Legend, Lena Dunham and More React to Ferguson Unrest
Some celebrities have voiced their concern over the situation in Ferguson, Missouri following clashes between civilians and police the last few days. The tension in the area stemmed from a fatal shooting of an unarmed African American teenager named Michael Brown by a police officer on Saturday, August 9. The police then dropped armed officers to handle the situation.
"Sending love and support to the citizens of Ferguson, who are in pain and asking for change," Lena Dunham tweeted on Thursday. "What's happening in #Ferguson is devastating. Wow," Kerry Washington said in a Twitter post.
"I believe these cops are intentionally trying to inflame the situation. They want an excuse," John Legend wrote on Twitter. "Recall the local cop telling those 'animals' to 'bring it' on CNN... He wants a fight. Calling us 'animals' has been the language to justify slavery, Jim Crow and all manner of injustice. Dehumanization and racism go together."
"Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgley additionally wrote, "Some of us simply cannot imagine. 'The ghost of Mike Brown: why must a dead black child defend his right to life?' " Mia Farrow, meanwhile, said, "Police in #Ferguson - you are not supposed to point loaded weapons at unarmed citizens who are protesting peacefully."
Big Boi also reacted to the clashes on social media. He shared links of news articles and photos from Ferguson, one of which shows a man standing while being surrounded by tear gas. "Do the Right Thing" filmmaker Spike Lee shared a photo of a poster dedicated to Brown on Instagram.
On Thursday, President Barack Obama condemned police's way to handle the peaceful protests as well as journalists' arrest. "Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying and arresting reporters who are just doing their jobs. The local authorities, including police, have a responsibility to be transparent and open," he said.
"There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism and looting. There's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights," he added.
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