US News

Obama Says No Excuse For Excessive Force By Police

Aug 14, 2014

President Barack Obama says there is no excuse for the use of excessive force by police in the tense aftermath of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and no excuse for violence against the police.

In brief remarks near his vacation spot in Martha’s Vineyard, Obama said he wants an open and transparent investigation of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, so that justice is done.

When SWAT officers gathered up everyone at a McDonald's restaurant on Wednesday night, they arrested not just locals, but reporters for The Washington Post and The Huffington Post, The Associated Press reports.

Both reporters later were released without being charged.

Four days after the fatal police shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, the atmosphere remains tense in Ferguson, Missouri.

Early this morning, police shot a man they say pointed a handgun at an officer. The man is said to be in critical condition at a local hospital.

This comes after a drive-by shooting in which a woman was shot in the head. Two community gatherings last night called for justice.

A federal court has cleared the way for same-sex marriage to be recognized in Virginia, denying a motion to stay its own ruling against a ban on the unions. That means same-sex couples could apply for marriage licenses in Virginia next week, state officials say.

When I was in my early 20s, my days were spent listening to New Yorkers tell me stories of how officers from the New York City Police Department had beaten them up. On most days, the person sitting across from me was a young, African-American man. (There were women, too, but they were fewer.) He would have filed an official complaint, either during his arrest or after, which then filtered through the city bureaucracy to land on my desk at the Civilian Complaint Review Board, or CCRB, an independent agency that investigates complaints against the NYPD.

Citing safety concerns, police in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where an officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager Saturday, say they won't release the name of the officer who fired the shots. The department reportedly received threats against the officer.

"If we come out and say, 'it was this officer,' then he immediately becomes a target," Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said, according to the AP. "We're taking the threats seriously."

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

More than 30 U.S. big city mayors are vowing to fight growing income inequality in their hometowns.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio hosted colleagues from other cities at Gracie Mansion. They pledged to push for higher wages, expanded pre-kindergarten programs and increased Internet access for poor neighborhoods.

Mayors Kathy Sheehan of Albany, Marty Walsh of Boston and  Rahm Emanuel of Chicago were among those at Monday's gathering.

Multiple media outlets are reporting Academy Award-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams has died at age 63 of an apparent suicide.

It was almost 40 years ago, August 9 1974, that millions of Americans watched as President Nixon, reelected just two years earlier by a landslide margin, walked across the White House lawn with his family, boarded a military helicopter and waved just before the doors closed and the helicopter departed.

Kirsten Gillibrand via

Colleges and universities could be held more accountable to rape victims under legislation introduced Wednesday by a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators led by New York's Kirsten Gillibrand. 

"My office has heard from many survivors about campus sexual assaults in America. These young women have been demanding that Congress help stop the endless wave of campus sexual assaults, and I share their outrage."  New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a Democrat, charges America is going through an "epidemic of campus sexual assault."