President Obama made a statement this afternoon on the continuing chaos in Ferguson, Missouri.
President Obama said Thursday that he tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting of an unarmed black teen in a St. Louis suburb that prompted violent protests and tension between police and the community. Obama, who was speaking from Martha’s Vineyard where his family is vacationing, said he was updated on the events in Ferguson by Attorney General Eric Holder, and the federal government will work with local authorities to see that “justice is done.”
The president kept a measured tone and urged calm. He said that law enforcement officials on the ground should not be arresting journalists and allow protesters to form peacefully, but also told protesters that they should not target police officers. “There is never an excuse for violence against police or those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting,” Obama said. He also urged police transparency in the investigation, which has been criticized by protesters.