Obama urges calm after Ferguson decision

President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, after the Ferguson grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama appealed for calm and understanding in Ferguson on Monday after a grand jury decided not to indict in the death of Michael Brown, pleading with both residents and police officers to show restraint.

“We are a nation built on the rule of law, so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make,” Obama said. He said it was understandable that some Americans would be “deeply disappointed — even angered,” but echoed Brown’s parents in calling for any protests to be peaceful.

In a late-night statement from the White House, Obama also urged Americans not to deny recent progress in race relations in the U.S., the protests in Ferguson notwithstanding. He called for the public to accept the grand jury’s decision and to refocus on ways to make more progress in bringing police and their communities together.

“That won’t be done by throwing bottles. That won’t be done by smashing car windows. That won’t be done by using this as an excuse to vandalize property,” Obama said. “It certainly won’t be done by hurting anybody.”

A grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Brown. The fatal shooting of the unarmed, black 18-year-old sparked weeks of protests outside St. Louis.

The Justice Department is also conducting an investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges.

WISHTV.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s