Protesters shoot 2 cops outside Ferguson Police Department

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Two officers were shot in front of the Ferguson Police Department early Thursday, authorities said, as demonstrators gathered after the resignation of the city’s police chief in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said at a news conference. Both were taken to a hospital, where Belmar said they were conscious. He said he did not have further details about their conditions but described their injuries as “serious.”

“I don’t know who did the shooting, to be honest with you,” Belmar said, adding that he could not provide a description of the suspect or gun.

He said his “assumption” was that, based on where the officers were standing and the trajectory of the bullets, “these shots were directed exactly at my officers.”

The shots were fired shortly after midnight as protesters were gathered following the resignation of embattled Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson on Wednesday. Before the shooting, some at the protest were chanting to show they weren’t satisfied with the resignations of Jackson and City Manager John Shaw earlier in the week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Authorities from multiple agencies had gathered outside of the department.

The protest was a familiar scene in Ferguson, which saw similar and much larger demonstrations after the shooting death of black 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer by city police officer Darren Wilson. When Wilson, who is white, was cleared in November by a state grand jury, the decision set off further protests, looting and fires. But Wednesday was the first time an officer at a protest had been shot.

Marciay Pitchford, 20, was among the protesters outside the police department. She told The Associated Press the protest had been mostly peaceful until she heard the shots ring out.

“I saw the officer go down and the other police officers drew their guns while other officers dragged the injured officer away,” Pitchford said. “All of a sudden everybody started running or dropping to the ground.”

Belmar said the shots were fired from across the street from the police department.

After the shooting, officers with guns and in riot gear circled the station, and more than a dozen squad cars blocked the street.

By Jim Salter – Associated Press – Washington Times –

Many Indian Christians arrested protesting church attacks

Hundreds of Indian Christians were arrested in New Delhi on Thursday during a protest against government inaction following a series of attacks on local churches that raised fears of increasing religious intolerance in the Indian capital.

The protesters — who included nuns and priests — attempted to march from a cathedral near the country’s parliament to Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s residence, located in a high-security area where protests are banned. The protesters targeted Singh because he is responsible for maintaining domestic law and order.

The action, organized by church leaders and activists, followed an incident on Monday in which unknown persons broke into a Delhi church, desecrating property. The crime was the latest in a series of reported arsons, burglaries and acts of vandalism targeting local churches. In total, five churches have been attacked in the last two months.

“A clear pattern of orchestrated attacks is emerging as more churches are targeted, vandalized and set on fire,” Delhi Archbishop Anil Couto told reporters Thursday.

While the overwhelming majority of India’s 1.26 billion citizens are Hindu, it is officially a secular country. Christians, who comprise only about 2.3 percent (28 million) of the population, say attacks on churches have increased since Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept national elections last May.

Though hate groups have targeted Indian Christians in the past, some experts say the BJP’s victory has bolstered their activities.

“Since the elections, certain more anti-Christian groups in India have gotten emboldened and have engaged in somewhat more provocative acts,” Chad Bauman, an associate professor of religion at Butler University who studies Hindu-Christian relations, told Al Jazeera.

Following the recent attacks, church leaders and activists are demanding that authorities establish an independent panel to investigate hate crimes carried out against the Christian community.

“We don’t trust the police to conduct an impartial inquiry. We want a panel headed by a high court judge to investigate these attacks,” said human rights activist John Dayal, who was among those arrested Thursday. “Our demand is for justice and security for the Christian community.”

By Philip J. Victor & Wire Services – Al Jazeera –

Five states have plans to combat police brutality

The latter half of 2014 was defined by a new and widespread recognition of the problem of police brutality in America. The issue was catapulted to national attention in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice, as well as the excessively aggressive police response to protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Police militarization—most concretely evidenced in law enforcement’s use of military weapons and vehicles acquired as hand-me-downs from the Pentagon—is a major contributing factor to the systemic problem of police brutality. Still, despite recent events, essentially no progress has been made in Washington toward eliminating the now-controversial 1033 program, which make these deadly gifts possible.

Sen. Rand Paul and a handful of other Senators harshly criticized the 1033 transfers this past fall, and a bipartisan pair of representatives proposed a bill in the House which would have taken some steps toward reforming the program.

But that bill has been stalled in committee since the day it was introduced back in September, and if past votes on similar proposals were any indication, it probably wouldn’t pass even if it did make it to the House floor.

If Paul keeps his promise to introduce anti-militarization legislation in the Senate this year, it too may meet a similar fate—and should a police demilitarization bill somehow make it through both houses of Congress, a veto from President Obama seems all but guaranteed….

But fortunately, we don’t have to wait for Washington to get its act together to demilitarize our police forces.

Five states in particular are leading the way in practical, achievable, local reforms:

In New Hampshire, the state legislature is considering a bill that would ban police departments from obtaining military equipment that is “not readily available in an open national commercial market.” If it passes, HB407—also known as the PEACE Act (Police Equipment And Community Engagement)—will effectively nullify the 1033 program within NH borders, requiring law enforcement to deal with crime using tools and vehicles more befitting of police work.

In Tennessee, state Sen. Brian Kelsey has introduced a bill, SB0039, which not only prohibits police use of military equipment but also requires departments to get rid of any military vehicles or weapons they already own by the beginning of next year. “Traditionally, America has had a clear separation between the military and the police to ensure we remain in a free democracy,” Kelsey says. “I think we can support both our police officers and our citizens by ensuring that our police officers are not viewed as the enemy.”

In California, a state assembly bill under consideration won’t eliminate police use of military equipment, but it will give citizens a more transparent process for achieving that goal at a city level. AB36 stipulates that police departments can’t receive military equipment from the Pentagon unless it’s approved by the town council at a public meeting first….

By Bonnie Kristian – Rare –

CHRISTIAN HIJACKS PODIUM AT ISLAMIC EVENT: ‘False Prophet Mohammed Will Never Dominate Texas!’

Suffice it to say: The 11th annual Texas Muslim Capitol Day is not going well for Texas.

Earlier Thursday we brought you the story of State Rep. Molly White (R-Belton) requesting her staff greet any visitors from the Muslim community with the Israeli flag pin, a request for denunciation of terrorist groups, and a verbal pledge of allegiance to the United States.

When members of the Muslim community showed up to the Capitol for the annual meeting with state lawmakers, they were greeted by roughly 25 protesters who showed up to give the Muslim community a piece of their mind. According to the Texas Tribune, one demonstrator’s sign read “Radical Islam is the New Nazi,” and another’s: “Go Home & Take Obama With You.”

Later in the day, during the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ (CAIR) press conference at the Capitol, an unidentified woman grabbed the microphone from an organizer and began shouting: “False prophet Muhammed! Islam will never dominate the United States and, by the grace of God, it will not dominate Texas.”

She stormed off immediately afterwards.

According to the Tribune, the disruptions didn’t end there. As the Muslim participants began singing “The Star-Spangled Banner,” protesters reportedly yelled “Islam is a lie!” and “No Sharia here!”

By Andrew Kirell – Mediaite.com –

McCain calls anti-war protesters “low-life scum”

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday kicked out anti-war protesters from his Armed Services Committee hearing, calling them “low-life scum” as police escorted them away.

“Get out of here you low-life scum,” McCain said, earning applause from others in the room.

The mayhem started as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger was being escorted into the hearing room to discuss global challenges and U.S. national security strategy. Kissinger, who served as national security adviser and secretary of state under Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, was met by protesters as he sat down.

“Arrest Henry Kissenger for war crimes!” they chanted.

Police arrived after more than a minute to clear the room of protesters, and McCain apologized to the audience.

“I’d like to say to my colleagues, and to our distinguished witnesses this morning, that I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful, and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” he said.

When McCain was interrupted by another protester, he shot back, “You know, you’re going to have to shut up or I’m going to have you arrested.” Then he delivered the line he’ll likely be remembered for decades from now:

“Get out of here you low-life scum.”

By Pete Kasperowicz – The Blaze –

Police Captain Ray Lewis: ‘Police Are An Oppressive Organization Used As Mercenaries By Corporations’

A former Philadelphia police officer says that he’s standing with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri to send a message that police are oppressing the majority of Americans.

“Number one, I want to give the residents of Ferguson the knowledge that there are some police that do support them,” Ray Lewis, a former Philadelphia Police captain told Al Jazeera. “I want to try and get a message to mainstream America that that this system is corrupt, that police really are oppressing not only the black community, but also the whites,” he said.

By Sam Levine – Huffington Post –

Mike Brown Protesters Target Thanksgiving Day Parade

Chanting “Justice for Mike Brown!” and “No justice, no peace!” the demonstrators marched south from the New York Public Library and turned right on 37th Street toward Seventh Avenue about 9:30 a.m. and then attempted a U-turn toward the parade route.

“There is no business as usual on Thanksgiving Day because there’s nothing to be thankful for while the cops are killing our children,” a protester told New York Daily News.

From InfoWars.com –

‘You Don’t Hate Us!’ Lesbian Learns Christians ‘Really Do Care’ By Sharing Gospel

By Heather Clark – Christian News Net –

CHICAGO – A Christian columnist, cultural analyst and attorney specializing in constitutional law recently shared a story about about how a lesbian’s eyes were opened to the fact that Christians are motivated by love and not hate to share the gospel with homosexuals.

Matt Barber, the founder of BarbWire.com, recalled the incident in an article published by Charisma News last Monday. He stated that in 2009, as he was the keynote speaker at a banquet in Chicago for the organization American for Truth About Homosexuality, a number of homosexual protesters stood outside, angered by the event.

One woman that was present at the banquet claimed to be with the press, but it was soon discovered that she was actually among the protesters. Rather than ejecting her from the building, Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, invited her to stay.

“This young woman, who identified as a lesbian, sat at a table with some of the most loving and godly women I know,” Barber recalled. “They showed her the love of Christ.”

The women shared the word of God with the girl, who also listened to Barber’s message shared from the podium during the event.

“After I gave my remarks, this young lady . . . rushed over to me with tears in her eyes,” Barber remembered. “‘They lied!’ she exclaimed of the protest organizers outside. ‘You don’t hate us. You don’t hate me. You really do care.’”

 
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Protests Resume In St. Louis Over Police Shooting

From The Liberty Crier –

ST. LOUIS — Angry protests have erupted for a second night in the Shaw neighborhood of this city after an off-duty white police officer shot and killed an African-American teenager who, police said, had fired three shots at him.

Following loud protests Wednesday night, demonstrations resumed Thursday evening when about 200 chanting people marched and stopped traffic not far from the scene where Vonderrit Myers Jr., 18, was shot.

Protesters held signs that said, “We will not forget,” and “Don’t Shoot.”

 
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