Only Police Overhaul to Calm Ferguson Tensions: Campaigner

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Tensions will continue in the suburb where a white lawman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager until the police force is overhauled, Hands Up United campaigner Marsha Coleman-Adebayo told RIA Novosti.

NEW YORK, October 1 (RIA Novosti) – Tensions will continue in the suburb where a white lawman shot and killed an unarmed black teenager until the police force is overhauled, Hands Up United campaigner Marsha Coleman-Adebayo told RIA Novosti.

"It is clear that police are not in our communities to protect and serve. They kill with impunity. They are there to protect businesses and other interests. Now, we are looking towards a black community that polices itself without outside intervention," Coleman-Adebayo coordinator for Hands Up United, which calls for justice for Michael Brown, 18, who was shot and killed in Ferguson on August 9 said.

Tensions persist in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis of some 21,000 residents, weeks after the shooting. On September 26, the Justice Department asked officers to stop wearing bracelets in support of the white lawman who shot Brown, sparking protests.

Two lawmen from the area have been shot and injured in recent days, in apparently unrelated incidents. On September 28, police arrested seven demonstrators during protests in which water bottles were lobbed at officers.

"Because of Ferguson, we have started to question the problem of state-sponsored violence," the campaigner added.

"The goal of policing the black community has not changed fundamentally since the 1700s: to surveil the black community, apprehend black men and to bring them to a discrete form of violence, once lynching and more recently mass incarceration," Coleman-Adebayo concluded.

Police were blasted for using military-grade weapons to quell protests after Brown's death. A grand jury is hearing evidence about the shooting and is set to decide whether to charge lawman Darren Wilson by mid-October. The inquiry hinges on whether Wilson, 28, fired in self-defense.

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