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President Obama Demands Calmness from Police, Citizens in Ferguson

Categories: Michael Brown

ObamaFergusonPresserWhiteHouseFeed08142014_565.jpg
White House | YouTube
President Barack Obama addresses the media.

During a Thursday press conference, President Barack Obama denounced unnecessary police force and asked authorities and citizens alike to remain calm as details behind the shooting death of Michael Brown unfold.

From Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, Obama denounced last night's chaos when police used military tactics to disperse protesters and also jailed several reporters.

"There's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protesters, or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights," Obama said.

See our complete coverage on Michael Brown and Ferguson.

"Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground," Obama said later.

Obama also condemned those citizens who have been attacking police, rioting and looting local businesses.

"There's no excuse for vandalism or looting," the president said.

The White House has been in contact with local officials and law enforcement about how to better handle operations. During the press conference, Obama reiterated the need for collaboration.

"I've already tasked the Department of Justice to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown. The Department of Justice is also looking at ways to maintain public safety and the right of peaceful protest," Obama said. "We need to determine exactly what happened and see that justice is done."

"Now's the time for healing and an open transparent process," Obama said later. "I've asked the Department of Justice and the attorney general on the scene to work with local officials to move the process forward. They'll be reporting to me in the coming days to ensure that's happening."

Obama reiterated that the unrest in Ferguson from both police and citizens centers on an officer shooting eighteen-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, spurring an ongoing investigation into the surrounding details.

"It's important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking, tragic circumstances," Obama said. "When something like this happens, the local police have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they're investigating and how they're working with communities."

"Emotions are raw in Ferguson, and there are passionate differences in how people look at how this happened," Obama continued. "We're all part of one American family, united in common values, and that includes a belief in equality under the law, the right to peaceful protest, dignity for every man, woman and child among us, and accountability from our government."



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121 comments
markie19
markie19 topcommenter


11 days ago

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DeleteShareLikeReplymarkie19Jul 20, 2014

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markie1918 hours ago


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Zachary Michael
Zachary Michael

Yeah. That video sure looked like a "strong arm" robbery. Seeing as though he was casually walking out the store and the clerk went after him. Even after he shoved the clerk he still left rather casually. Most of the time when people rob someplace I get the feeling they'd like to leave as quickly as possible. Then to be walking casually down the middle of the street with his friend just minutes later. Still doesn't seem like someone who would like to avoid the police. With all of that being said, does that justify him being shot three times in the street like a dog?

Kevin Schwab
Kevin Schwab

Interesting now that the police released the video of this innocent "good boy" was involved in a strong arm robbery moments before...and his buddy was there with him...really reliable witnesses....gotta go with the cops story for now....the black community hates the cops until they need them....

Jim Harvatin
Jim Harvatin

We lost a young man and a heartbreaking tragic circumstances that he fought a police officer and then got shot after committing strong armed robbery at a convenience store what a shame

Erik Olsen
Erik Olsen

#DashCamGate got time to 'get around to it' now, Chief?

Laura Tomerlin
Laura Tomerlin

Obama DEMANDS calmness from the police, laughable. We the people demand he follow the constitution and yet he refuses to that!!!

Kimberly Brown
Kimberly Brown

Stacie Clemons I'm glad someone from the area that knows the truth has come forward. Parents and grandparents will never talk about what he had become or if they even suspected him being that way. But liberal media has blown it way out of per portion again. It's only innocent kids being shot for no apparent reason. Yes this does actually happen and race don't play a part. Looks plays the part. Thuggish looking usually means what you portray. Don't dress that way, don't act that way and damn sure don't attack a police officer. You will be shot!

Kenneth Lee M
Kenneth Lee M

Vicki, if the truth defies the angry mob .... you live there ... would you tell it?

Michelle Accardi
Michelle Accardi

The state police taking over for the Ferguson cops will be more of the reason it will be peaceful protests.

Jennifer Day
Jennifer Day

I'm discussing the anger and the police behavior toward the protestors. And yes, I have been there. I am talking about years and years of a class of people being disenfranchised.

Vicki Hammer Rademacher
Vicki Hammer Rademacher

were you there...do you know what happened...if so, please go to the news...a few facts in this situation may actually help...so far all we have gotten is the word of his friend. We need witnesses, people who know the facts. Until then no one should be judged and it certainly should not be done by tearing up the community and stealing and dancing and partying in the streets screaming vulgarity to any authority figure who is out there trying to keep everyone safe. That will just cause more problems..I for one do not understand how this behavior will make anything any better! They look like fools out there...

Dionysus Rich
Dionysus Rich

What the numbers really say: Arrests, by Race, 2012 In 2012, 69.3 percent of all individuals arrested were white, 28.1 percent were black, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Of all juveniles (persons under the age of 18) arrested in 2012, 65.2 percent were white, 32.2 percent were black, and 2.5 percent were of other races. Of all adults arrested in 2012, 69.7 were white, 27.6 percent were black, and 2.7 percent were of other races. White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race, accounting for 58.7 percent of those arrests. The percentages of black adults and white adults arrested for murder were similar, with 49.3 percent being black and 48.3 percent being white. Black juveniles accounted for 51.5 percent of all juveniles arrested for violent crimes. White juveniles accounted for 61.6 percent of all juveniles arrested for property crimes. Of the juveniles arrested for drug abuse violations, 74.0 percent were white. White juveniles accounted for 55.2 percent of juveniles arrested for aggravated assaults. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/43tabledatadecoverviewpdf

Brian Ruby
Brian Ruby

Re-posting statistics found on google is racist? Really??? If you people are so offended by what she posted, then instead of name calling why don't you actually put in an EFFORT and see if you can find the statistics that prove Donna wrong? Because you don't wanna do the work, that's why. You just wanna lash out without any thought or due diligence at all. Know how you can tell when a lib is losing an argument? They call you a racist.

Brian Ruby
Brian Ruby

Why the "F" is obama commenting on this??? He can't pause the golf game long enough to deal with the border, or to pay attention to ISIS, or the IRS, or Benghazi, or the healthcare debacle.... But all the sudden he's gonna come out of his hidey-hole and chime in on this???? And call for TRANSPARENCY to boot??? That's right folks, the most "transparent administration" in history is calling for transparency. I feel an aneurysm coming on

Zachary Michael
Zachary Michael

Actually, what you got was the report that came out on local news by the sensationalized media (regardless of national or local). It was sourceless and the Ferguson police department can't even backup their own officers story without fumbling over themselves. All eyewitness reports, which there are many, directly contradict what you heard on the news. I'm from St. Louis, I follow all of the St. Louis news outlets. The national media really hasn't swayed much from the bullshit that was originally reported. God forbid anyone believe the minority and let's just assume that the police, who can't keep their stories straight and are turning Ferguson into a war zone when the only death is at the hands of one of their own, are telling the truth as they inch closer and closer to becoming the next branch of the military. It's not hard to see that this young man shouldn't have been killed. He was unarmed and this sort of thing happens all over the country all the time. Profiling, unequal treatment of minorities... the list (and the body count) goes on and on.

Dawn Rednour
Dawn Rednour

We all know now how it kinda started but what does our wonderful government plan to do besides treat it like they do with unruly countries? I have no faith in or government anymore..haven't for years now.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

"peacefully protesting" = must have missed when they burned down a gas station and threw a molotov cocktail at the police.

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

^ it's also OUR right to be able to drive down the streets way pay for with our tax dollars.

sybil10
sybil10

So Gov Nixon is letting the Highway Patrol take over.  Guess the HP is going to "stand down" or what?

sybil10
sybil10



The executive director of the Fraternal Order of Police criticized President Obama Thursday for his remarks about law enforcement in Ferguson, Mo. 

"I would contend that discussing police tactics from Martha's Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation," director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill. 

"I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors’ office," Pasco added. 

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/215178-police-chief-hits-obama-for-ferguson-remarks#ixzz3APgT939m 

Patrick Bridges
Patrick Bridges

I grew up in Ferguson in the 1980s nothing has changed . As a kid you did your best to avoid the police an the blacks I dont feel sorry for either group.

Tara Apple
Tara Apple

You clearly have no idea of what goes on in the world outside your home/job. I hope you never face discrimination because you certainly wouldn't be able to handle it.

Stacie Clemons
Stacie Clemons

He was stopped because he and friend were suspected of robbing the store across from quick trip. He shoved a cop into the cop car and grabbed for the cops gun, the gun went off in the police car at which point all hell broke loose. I know this because I live here. I got the story as soon as it hit local news. Before it was twisted on CNN and FOX. From the witnesses that night...not from a few days later after the story had blown up. This is not a case of someone walking down the street and police deciding to open fire. There is much more to it. It's best if everyone just wait until the facts are sorted.

Zachary Michael
Zachary Michael

Oh, so he deserved to be shot to death? Shot three times until he was dead. And please feel free to explain the extent if the officers "serious" injuries that he suffered right before he was able to shoot an unarmed man who was in a submissive position. George Zimmerman suffered "injuries" too.

David Richardson
David Richardson

Uh...its our right to get out in the streets, thats what makes this country great. If you dont like it reform the nazi party!

Lynn Wagner
Lynn Wagner

Innocent people don't assault police officers. It has already been released that Brown "seriously injured" the officer. Did he do that after he was shot?

Jennifer Day
Jennifer Day

If you don't understand the difference between an officer who was imbued with the trust and faith of a community blatantly misusing that power and another citizen, you are a very confused person.

Thaddeus J McLendon
Thaddeus J McLendon

Im sorry norm but its is not just black folk u retard. The police were the aggressor that very first night. They caused the riot. Any stand up man would be upset if thier city was being occupied because the police fucked up. Any man with a backbone anyway. They aint stole nothing sonce bbc.co the first night

Tim Corkill
Tim Corkill

FUCK the POLICE they didnt even kill rodney king this needs to be handled with acceptable casualties..

Norm Manis
Norm Manis

Let the police do there damn job!!!! All these criminal niggas act up and rebel against police. Thats why the police you force. Everyone blames the police. Bullshit all day on this !!! The nigga ghetto thugs drinking drugging not working getting food stamps and welfare need god in there hearts and need to grow up and act right and be contributors to society instead of being takers with there hands out robbing and looting. Get and job and some respect for yourselves and other people. All this is on the heads of all the trouble making nigga terrorists!!!!!NOT THE POLICE!!!!!!

Robert George Crone
Robert George Crone

If your tired of the riverfront times beating this story over and over and over call Phone 314-754-5955 and express your opinion for them to move on and cover different news now. I did.

John Klostermann
John Klostermann

Here is what's fucked up. People don't even care about there kids. They can't go to school to better themselves. So they don't make the same mistakes that mom and dad are doing right now. You are stifling your own kids. All of you should be ashamed of yourself!

Melissa Needles
Melissa Needles

Yes because killing, throwing gas and physically detaining human beings are certainly the least animalistic actions out there. All that these commenters want is for you to take a moment to process what you're saying before you generalize an entire city based on a some of the actions, not all.

aokacres
aokacres

A young man is shot dead....that is the only FACT that we have.  So a bunch of people decide it's ok to rob, loot, vandalize establishments in the Town where this happened and even where they live. Some even came from other places. Now, those of you who say this is a protest, how about if I come and rob you because I don't like the Police.  I am really really tired of this blame it on anybody but me game.  The people who are looting, YOU ARE THIEVES, not protesters. If you don't like the police to be there protecting property and innocent people, GO HOME and only take what you came with. Wait until you know all the facts before you have anything to protest and then do it peacefully and not by hurting innocent people.  Mr. Obama, do your job for once. If someone is breaking the law by looting vandalizing stealing, please support the law enforcement people who are putting their life on the line to protect life and property, and not be excusing the vandals by saying what you think they have to blame it on.


sybil10
sybil10

Wasn't much media coverage on this:


FERGUSON, Mo. — The police chief here on Wednesday offered some details of the shooting death of an 18-year-old African-American man by one of his officers.


The police chief, Thomas Jackson, said that minutes before the shooting on Saturday, the officer and the young man, Michael Brown, had engaged in a violent confrontation, in which the officer was hit in the face.


“The side of his face is swollen,” Chief Jackson said at a news conference, adding that the officer, who has been put on administrative leave, was treated at a hospital.


Chief Jackson has not released the name of the officer, citing fears for his safety and that of his family. The police say Mr. Brown was shot after he assaulted the officer and tried to take his gun 




sybil10
sybil10

You have a right to "peaceful" assembly.  Since when did looting and rioting, shooting at police and their helicopters fall under the Constitution.  What did you want the police to do "stand down" and let them run the streets.  

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

@aokacres 

Thursday, August 14, 2014: 80 okacres

That Is Not the Only Fact In This Case, it is indeed a fact that a Ferguson police officer shot an unarmed teenager. Now you may want to debate whether it was murder or not, but Michael Brown was indeed gunned down by an armed Ferguson police officer who remains unnamed at this time.

aokacres
aokacres

@clinton.hutchins @aokacres Why would I want to debate what I do not know. Yes he was shot by a police officer. I would say allegedly because if it were the other way round and it was the officer who was shot, I would be criticized for "rushing to judgment". Whatever happened is not an excuse for what is happening.

clinton.hutchins
clinton.hutchins

@aokacres @clinton.hutchins 

Thursday, August 14, 2014: okaacres

what exactly do you mean by what is happening is not right or you referring to the looting or the brutal police action that has followed? My brother has been there on the scene, and in all of the instances that he has witnessed firsthand the police have been the instigators, by referring to the people as animals, go home animals. This is not in dispute because there are several recordings and videos of the officers doing exactly that.

aokacres
aokacres

@clinton.hutchins @aokacres So you are now blaming the police for the for the looting, stealing and vandalism?  What is your brother doing there?  Is he a police officer? Is he a business owner?  Then he has no business there. How does someone instigate the rioting and looting? You are a thief or you are not. Your choice. Are the looters wearing shirts that say LOOTER so the police can tell which ones are thieves and which are spectators? Perhaps Ms Clinton will say it is a video to blame. 

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