Stars React to Verdict in Ferguson Shooting
On Monday, it was announced that the grand jury in Ferguson, Mo. would not be indicting police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, which occurred on Aug. 9.
Reaction to the grand jury's decision was immediate and divisive, with strongly worded opinions being posted across the Internet by those slamming the decision and those supporting it.
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Michael Brown's parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr., released a statement expressing their disappointment toward the decision, but asked that people not resort to violence in their protests.
"We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions," the statement reads. "While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen."
"Join with us in our campaign to ensure that every police officer working the streets in this country wears a body camera," the statement continues. "We respectfully ask that you please keep your protests peaceful. Answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction. Let's not just make noise, let's make a difference."
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Rappers Macklemore and Q-Tip were spotted at protests and politically-minded stars waded into the fray with passionate reactions on Twitter. Here are just a few comments celebs have posted about the decision.
The Prosecutor says the Grand Jury works in secret! Cuz everybody knows secret groups are all about justice! #TeamDl— DL Hughley (@RealDLHughley) November 25, 2014
In light of the events in Ferguson, Garth Brooks postponed TV appearances, including Live with Kelly & Michael, the Today show and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
"We landed in NY last night to the news of the civil unrest that was going on in our nation. To spend the day promoting our stuff like nothing was wrong seemed distasteful to me," Garth said in a written statement to ET. "I will gladly reschedule any or all appearances the networks will allow. Love one another ... g"
President Barack Obama gave an official statement from the White House that was televised nationally shortly after the decision was made, and urged those who wished to protest to do so in a peaceful and non-violent way.
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NAACP president and CEO Cornell William Brooks also released a statement on behalf of the organization:
"The NAACP stands with citizens and communities who are deeply disappointed that the grand jury did not indict Darren Wilson for the tragic death of Michael Brown, Jr. We stand committed to continue our fight against racial profiling, police brutality and the militarization of local authorities," he said.
"The death of Michael Brown and actions by the Ferguson Police Department is a distressing symptom of the untested and overaggressive policing culture that has become commonplace in communities of color all across the country. We will remain steadfast in our fight to pass the End Racial Profiling federal legislation. And we stand in solidarity with peaceful protesters and uphold that their civil rights not be violated as both demonstrators and authorities observe the “rules of engagement."
He continued, "The grand jury’s decision does not mean a crime was not committed in Ferguson, Missouri, nor does it mean we are done fighting for Michael Brown, Jr. At this difficult hour, we commend the courage and commitment of Michael Brown's family, as well as local and national coalition partners."
What do you think of the Ferguson verdict?