Ferguson Mayor Defends Police: ‘I Can’t Second-Guess These Officers’

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August 14, 2014 11:47 a.m.

Ferguson, Mo., Mayor James Knowles defended local law enforcement amid growing criticism about their tactics during the protests sparked by the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teen.

Knowles said Thursday on MSNBC that there is “a lot of unlawfulness going around these peaceful protests.” Two police officers have been shot at during the demonstrations, he said, which started on Sunday after the shooting of Michael Brown and have resulted in tear gas and rubber bullets being fired into the crowd.

“That’s why we have to be vigilant and I can’t second-guess these officers. They are the professionals. They have learned from many years of dealing with these incidents across the nation,” Knowles said. “Now we’re just going to have to try our best to maintain order, and we ask the citizens to help us comply with that.”

“I am confident that all the law enforcement agencies that are participating are professionals,” he said. “and if there is some videos that show someone losing their temper in a highly stressful situation, I’m sure they’re under a great deal of stress and though it does not make it okay, they are human and I can understand their frustrations as well. Just as the protesters are frustrated.”

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