President Obama announced Thursday that the Department of Justice and the FBI
will both be investigating the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson,
MO last weekend. The shooting of the unarmed black teen has caused violent
protests and tension between police and protestors, as well as conflicting stories
about what actually occurred.
“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 in a press conference from
St. Martha’s Vineyard. He also encouraged police transparency in the
investigation—something community members have been protesting for since the
Brown was shot by an unnamed police officer during an altercation on the street,
which, by some accounts, included an assault on the officer. According to Ferguson
Police Chief Tom Jackson, the officer sustained swelling facial injuries.
Witnesses to the event state that Brown and another man were ordered off the
street and that the officer tried to force them into the car. When Brown attempted
to break free, the office shot him multiple times.
While details of the event remain hazy, the aftermath has been anything but: violent
protests have sparked a militarized police force to retaliate, firing rubber bullets
and spraying tear gas into the crowd. In addition, two reporters from The
Huffington Post and The Washington Post were arrested on Wednesday.
“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 during his Thursday press conference.
“We all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particular those of us in positions
of authority.” He urged everyone involved to allow the Department of Justice and
the FBI investigations to proceed so that answers can be found.