Ferguson Police Shooting Protests: Democrats Seek to Use Michael Brown's Death to Rally Blacks to Vote
In light of the upcoming 2014 Midterm Elections, Democrats are reportedly using the outrage over the death of Michael Brown to mobilize African-American voters to come to the polls in November.
A string of protests were held in Ferguson in August after Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old African-American, was fatally shot by a white police officer on Aug. 9. Although police say the teen reached for the officer's weapon, several witnesses say Brown was shot execution style while he was trying to surrender.
Missouri police also came under fire for using overaggressive tactics on peaceful protesters in the predominantly Black St. Louis suburb.
Now, in order to maintain their majority in the House of Representatives, civic leaders in the African American community are using Brown's death to push black voters to elect Democratic leaders.
"Ferguson has made it crystal clear to the African-American community and others that we've got to go to the polls," said Rep. John Lewis, Democrat of Georgia and a civil-rights leader, according to The New York Times. "You participate and vote, and you can have some control over what happens to your child and your country."
"The push is an attempt to counter Republicans' many advantages in this year's races, including polls that show Republican voters are much more engaged in the elections at this point -- an important predictor of turnout," The New York Times reported.
In addition to Rep. Lewis, who is spearheading the efforts to mobilize black voters in states like Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina, the push is also being propelled by the Congressional Black Caucus and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
"People feel like they would be betraying the spirit of what happened in Ferguson, as well as enabling this impeachment rhetoric, if there's a low turnout," the Rev. Al Sharpton said on his nationally syndicated radio.