FERGUSON, Mo. – Several organizations, made up mostly of black volunteers, have taken it upon themselves to help ease tensions in Ferguson, Missouri.
They feel protesters are more likely to listen to them than police after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white officer created a volatile situation in the St. Louis suburb.
Groups of activists, clergy, even a motorcycle gang, are participating, hoping the message that Brown's death deserves justice will resonate more from black men and women without badges.
Malik Zulu Shabazz is president of Black Lawyers for Justice and former chairman of the New Black Panther Party. He has used a bullhorn at protests, imploring demonstrators to behave themselves.
Paul Muhammad of St. Louis says his group, the Peacekeepers, is a buffer between protesters and police.