Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) on Sunday called the situation in Ferguson, Mo., a "shame and a disgrace" and said people have a right to peacefully protest.


“When I was watching the film footage coming out of Ferguson, it looked like it was in Baghdad, or some other war-torn zone," the civil rights leader said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday. "You know, Ferguson is a part of the United States of America. It’s not China; it’s not Russia; it’s not the Congo; it’s America. People have a right to protest. People have a right to engage in peaceful nonviolent action, and the press have a right to cover what is going on.” 

"It is a shame and a disgrace that in a city that is almost 70 percent African-American, to have only 3 African-American police officers," he said.

Ferguson has been rocked by protests after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed young black man, Michael Brown. The police have used tear gas and rubber bullets at times to disperse the protests. There has been some looting and violence as well. 

Lewis said the Ferguson mayor and police chief should "literally apologize to the community."

"We've got to learn to live together," he said.