In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) called on President Barack Obama to take drastic action in Ferguson, MO.
Lewis condemned the police action and suggested it would appropriate for Obama to declare martial law in Ferguson and federalize the state’s national guard.
“It is very sad and unbelievable,” Lewis said. It’s unreal to see what the police is doing there. First of all, Ferguson, MO is part of the United States of America. People have a right to protest. They have a right to dissent. They have a right to march in an orderly, peaceful, nonviolent fashion. And the press has a right to cover it. Ferguson, MO — it’s not the Congo, it is not China. It is not Russia. We can do better. It takes me back to the ’40s, the ’50s, the ’60s. To have a city that are majority african-americans and only three African-Americans on the police or to have local police officers refer to the protesters as animals. Or to have people dress in military garment and pointing rifles directly at the protesters. That is only going to incite people. “
“So my own feeling is right now, is that President Obama should use the authority of his office to declare martial law, federalize the Missouri National Guard to protect people as they protest,” he added. “And people should come together — reasonable elected official, community leaders and address what is happening there.”
Lewis cited the Freedom Rides in Montgomery in the 1960s when then-President John F. Kennedy federalized the national guard to protect protesters as precedent for such action.
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