Obama Delivers a Very Careful Statement About Ferguson

By
Photo: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Far from the fiery denunciation of police brutality and racial injustice many Americans have been hoping for, President Obama took a break from his vacation on Martha’s Vineyard today to speak about the death of Michael Brown in Missouri. Referring to the shooting and subsequent demonstrations as “something that’s been in the news,” Obama said, “I know many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we’ve seen in the heartland of our country as police have clashed with people protesting.”

“Today,” he said, “I’d like us all to take a step back and think about how we’re going to move forward.”

Obama called once again for calm reflection, acknowledging both sides. “There is never an excuse for violence against the police,” he said. “There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests.” He added, “Here in the United States of America, police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs.”

“Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man,” Obama said, reverting to passive language, “in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances.”

“I know that emotions are raw,” he continued. “Let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We’re united in common values and that includes equality under the law.”

“Now’s the time for healing, now’s the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson. Now’s the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done.”