Friday, December 19 2014 11:15 AM EST2014-12-19 16:15:40 GMT
Several metro Atlanta leaders will travel to Ferguson, MO to see if they can ease tensions in the city that has been rocked by violence for several days. More >
Several metro Atlanta leaders will travel to Ferguson, MO to see if they can ease tensions in the city that has been rocked by violence for several days.More >
ATLANTA (CBS46) -
Police used tear gas and smoke bombs to scatter protestors in Ferguson, Mo.
Cell phone video showed an officer aiming a semi-automatic rifle at demonstrators. Police said some people threw objects, including Molotov cocktails.
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Half a country away, in Atlanta, religious and civil rights leaders watched in dismay.
"It is heart wrenching and very difficult to watch," said Rev. Raphael Warnock, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Warnock said police have been overreacting to the protestors.
"It is clear that it is the police who have been escalating this. There have been a few folks who have stepped outside of the lines, but it does not justify the disproportionate response we've seen," Warnock said.
Warnock said people feel frustrated by what they see as a largely white police force that has intimidated the community, mostly people of color and, in this latest case, killed an unarmed black man.
"Communities of color are over-policed, disproportionately policed. Young men of color, black men in particular, are profiled, they are arrested in larger numbers," Warnock said.
The protestor, for the most part, have assembled peacefully, but some people have looted.
Charles Steele, who heads the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said peaceful resistance and negotiation pave the road to justice.
"No form of violence will bring about a reasonable solution. Looting, picking up guns, the destroying of human life is not going to be tolerated," Steele said.
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Atlanta pastor on Ferguson: 'It is heart wrenching and very difficult to watch'More>>
Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night. More >
Protests in the St. Louis suburb rocked by racial unrest since a white police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death turned violent Wednesday night, with people lobbing molotov cocktails at police who responded with smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse the crowd.More >