McCaskill in Ferguson: Time to ‘de-militarize this situation’

Senator meets with citizens in Ferguson, calls for their right to peacefully protest to be respected, protected

WASHINGTON – Following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, and subsequent clashes between local police and protestors, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill is in Ferguson today, talking directly with constituents. She released the following statement:

“We need to de-militarize this situation—this kind of response by the police has become the problem instead of the solution. I obviously respect law enforcement’s work to provide public safety, but my constituents are allowed to have peaceful protests, and the police need to respect that right and protect that right. Today is going to be a new start, we can and need to do better.”

McCaskill is also scheduled to speak directly today with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. While the U.S. Attorney General has no jurisdiction over local police actions, McCaskill plans to discuss with Holder what she described as the “totally unacceptable” situation on the ground in Ferguson as local police and protestors continue to clash, as well as the status of the federal civil rights investigation.

Early Wednesday, McCaskill spoke directly with Molly Moran, Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice on the status of a federal civil rights investigation. McCaskill has also spoken directly over the past two days with dozens of local officials, law enforcement, and religious leaders, in an ongoing attempt to deescalate the situation.