Monday, August 25, 2014

Reed: Investigation into Michael Brown's death should be about justice, not larger issues of class and race

Posted By on Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 11:22 AM

The death of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager who was shot and killed by a police officer, and the subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson, Mo., has grabbed the nation's attention for much of the past two weeks. Now that standoffs between police and protesters have died down, and the National Guard has left the St. Louis-area community, the media's focus has returned to the investigation of his death.

In his return to the national Sunday morning talk show circuit, Mayor Kasim Reed said that Brown's killing needs to remain the focus of the case rather than racial tensions surrounding Ferguson. Here's what the mayor, speaking on a "Meet the Press" panel with several journalists from PBS News Hour and the Washington Post, had to say about the next steps in the Brown case:

Well, I think the thing that you do is to start seeing this case through the eyes of a mother and father who lost a child who got shot six times and left for four hours on the street. That's really the issue right now. We are laying all of our feelings about race and class and all of the rest, and it's really moving away from the dignity that should have been shown to a mother and a father whose child got killed.

And to the extent that we can start handling this case through that lens, Ferguson's going to be better off, and so is the United States of America. We need to stop layering our issues on what is happening there, and make sure that justice is handled equitably for this mom and this dad who lost their son on the street because he was killed and shot six times with four witnesses.

And so we have an obligation, and I think the attorney general's visit there was vital, to ensure transparency to all of the people of Ferguson. But most important, to this mom and this dad, to make sure that this prosecutor is going to use all of the resources available to make sure that this is done in a transparent fashion. We also need federal oversight to move simultaneously so that, in the event that we have an adverse decision, there certainly is another path to seeing that justice is done here.

Reed also shared his two cents on ISIL and the prospects of American military intervention in the Middle East. You can read his full remarks on that issue here.

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