Last night, things escalated in Ferguson, MO, to a level that should be seen as a national disgrace. It is obvious that the local police force does not know what it’s doing and it is by sheer luck that someone hasn’t been killed.

On Saturday, August 9, an officer of the Ferguson police department shot and killed Michael Brown, 18. Reports indicate that Brown was unarmed. Following the incident, protests emerged and clashes with police resulted in violence, the burning of buildings and looting.

Police have responded by militarizing themselves. Armed to the teeth the cops are taking pages out of wartime manuals as to how to respond to peaceful protests and demonstrations over the death of Michael Brown. And now, police are turning those arms on unarmed and often peaceful protesters.

Some have even stated that the force that has been used in Ferguson exceeds that of what was on hand during military patrols in conflict zones.

Today, President Obama addressed the struggle in Ferguson and called for everyone to remember that we “are one American family.” To not lose sight that a young man lost his life and that his family will never get to hold him in their arms again.

He had stern words for the authorities too. The people’s right to peacefully demonstrate must be protected, not infringed.

If the locals aren’t able to deescalate the situation, perhaps its time the federal government took over.

Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.