ELKHART — A candlelight vigil for the violence in Ferguson, Mo., will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Elkhart.
“We cannot do nothing as our neighbors in Missouri experience what happens in a police state,” the church posted on Facebook on Thursday afternoon.
The vigil will be led the Rev. Amy Kulesza DeBeck in the church sanctuary.
Protests have been ongoing in the St. Louis suburb since Saturday, Aug. 9, when a white police officer shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, to death, the Associated Press reports.
The tension and violence came to a head Wednesday night, with some protesters throwing Molotov cocktails and other objects at police, who retaliated with smoke bombs, tear gas, pepperballs, rubber bullets and stun grenades, MSNBC reports.
At least 16 people were arrested Wednesday, including two journalists and a local politician, according to MSNBC.
During a statement on the events Thursday afternoon, President Barack Obama criticized both sides involved in the violence.
“There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting,” he said. “There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.”
He also criticized police for the arrests of journalists “who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.”