More Ferguson Updates

Stevie Wonder has something to say to the Mayor of Ferguson

Stevie Wonder said the mayor of Ferguson, Missouri, isn’t seeing the full picture a month after an unarmed black 18-year-old was killed by a white police officer.

“I don’t know if the mayor has blinders on,” Wonder said in an interview Wednesday. “But to say that he didn’t know that there was a racial or cultural problem in the city is unfortunate.”

Wonder said he approved of how President Barack Obama has responded to protests in the city following Michael Brown’s death last month. As the unrest drew worldwide attention, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles told reporters that there was no “racial divide” there.

Wonder spoke after announcing a fall North American tour highlighting his Grammy-winning 1976 double album “Songs in the Key of Life.”

The concerts will include performances of new songs culled from the 40 to 50 tunes Wonder wrote for an upcoming album, he said in the interview. He hopes to begin releasing singles from the album, titled “Through the Eyes of Wonder,” in February.

Wonder said his new music was partly inspired by monitoring world news, from clashes in the Middle East to cultural differences in the U.S.

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Ferguson Highway shutdown falls through 

A planned highway shutdown fell through Wednesday as a wall of officers in riot gear kept Ferguson police shooting protesters from walking onto Interstate 70 in a nearby St. Louis suburb during the late afternoon commute.

State troopers and St. Louis city and county officers warned the roughly 150 demonstrators who gathered to stay out of the road as they protested last month’s shooting of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, by a white officer. There were nearly as many officers as demonstrators.

Organizers said the protest in Berkeley was designed as an act of nonviolent civil disobedience similar to a 1999 demonstration in the same location. During that protest, hundreds of people shut down the interstate in a dispute over minority hiring for road construction projects.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Al Nothum said that 35 people were arrested, most on charges of unlawful assembly. Nothum said protesters threw rocks, concrete blocks, bricks and bottles, leading to four charges of assault on a law enforcement officer.

A smaller group later went to the nearby Ferguson police station before a heavy, late afternoon thunderstorm dispersed most of the protesters.

The crowd included about 20 union workers who operate public transit buses and trains for the region’s Metro system.

“We’re out here to show support,” said Antoin Johnson, 30. “We feel that an injustice has been done.”

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Here are a few photos from the thwarted highway protest

A line of law enforcement officers block the road at a protest aimed at shutting down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
Police arrest a protester after she refused to leave the area during an attempt to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
St. Louis county police officers advance on protestors trying to shut down Interstate 70 in Berkeley, Mo. on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014 near the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Mo. where Michael Brown, an unarmed, black 18-year old was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

 

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