The president made it clear that what the police in Ferguson have been doing is wrong. Obama said, ”
After providing an update on the humanitarian mission in Iraq, the president spoke about the situation in Ferguson, MO.
The president said:
Of course, it’s important to remember how all of this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking tragic circumstances. He was eighteen years old, and his family will never hold Michael in their arms again, and when something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities.
There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting. There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights. Here in the United States of America, police should not bullying or arresting journalists who are trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground.
Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson….Let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values, and includes belief in equality under the law, a basic respect for public order, and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every man, woman, and child among us, and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.
The president called for healing, peace and calm on the streets, and an open and transparent process so that justice can be done.
The president’s remarks were balanced, but also a clear rebuke of what the police have been doing in Ferguson. Obama was calling for peace, but also detailing why the behavior of the Ferguson Police has not been in any way acceptable. By arresting protesters and bullying journalists, local law enforcement has become a major part of the problem.
There are times when a local situation gets so far out of control that the state and federal governments must step in. It is clear that the Ferguson police have not been doing what the president laid out. Their investigation has not been transparent. They have been actively undermining citizen confidence in their ability to protect and serve the community, and they have been behaving like a police state. The police have ignored First Amendment rights by arresting protesters and bullying journalists.
Obama made it clear that the people of Ferguson are going to have a full and proper investigation. No matter how much the Ferguson police work against it, justice will be done.