Ferguson-area lawmakers on the reaction to girl’s murder vs. pol - KMOV.com

Ferguson-area lawmakers on the reaction to girl’s murder vs. police shootings

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(KMOV.com) – A Ferguson area lawmaker said she is just as outraged about the murder of 9-year-old Jamyla Bolden as she is about fatal officer-involved shootings.

“At the end of the day, we want to catch those animals and bring them to justice,” said Missouri State Senator Jamilah Nasheed.

Nasheed’s comments came after some observers said community members are only angry after officer-involved shootings but not after other shootings. Nasheed said that viewpoint demonstrates a perception problem.

“We do have a perception problem when outsiders look at reaction of African Americans when you have an officer-involved shooting vs. a black on black shooting,” Nasheed said. “We just finished a march about stopping violence. We did it last weekend, so it’s not like people don’t care.”

Nasheed said it is more difficult to demonstrate against street crime because it is hard to define the object of the rage, but police-involved shootings are more easily defined.

Nasheed told News 4 she is urging all demonstrations to stay peaceful.

“Some will listen and some won’t because you have some who really want to wreak havoc in the community but for those who are listening, please do the right thing and let’s work for justice for the 9-year-old. Let’s fight for peace in the City of St. Louis,” Nasheed said.

Another Ferguson area state senator, Maria Chapelle-Nadal, who has been very vocal about police shootings, said she has been reflecting since Bolden was shot.

“It is important for me to communicate with the people that live in this region that if we care truly about black lives, we will be willing to diversify the movement. It’s okay to protest against police brutality, but it is also okay and admirable to fight for children’s lives, especially when they are taken far too soon,” Chapelle-Nadal said.

Nasheed said she believes body cameras will end or reduce protests over police brutality because the public will get to see exactly what happened in an officer-involved shooting.

Chapelle-Nadal said her main focus is on improving job and educational opportunities for African Americans.

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