President Obama is calling the situation in Ferguson, Mo., where violence has broken out in the aftermath of a police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, “heartbreaking and tragic.”
Speaking in Edgartown, Mass., on Martha’s Vineyard where he is vacationing, Obama said he received a briefing this morning from Attorney General Eric Holder.
“I have already tasked the Department of Justice to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown,” he said referring to the teenager police fatally shot on Saturday. “I made it clear to the attorney general that it’s necessary to determine exactly what happened.”
As The Two-Way’s Bill Chappell reported earlier today, police in Ferguson have used helicopters, armored vehicles and the threat of arrests in an effort to control the area that’s been torn by racial tension and outrage over the shooting.
The president said that regardless of the circumstances of Brown’s death, “There is never an excuse for violence against police, nor for anyone to use this as a cover for vandalizing or looting.
“Now is the time of healing, now is the time for peace on the streets of Ferguson,” he said.
The president said he’d spoken to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, “a good man and a fine governor.” Just before Obama’s remarks in Massachusetts, Nixon addressed a crowd in Missouri, saying it was important to make sure that justice prevails.