President Obama Calls The Police Shooting Of Michael Brown Heartbreaking


President Obama released a statement about the killing of Michael Brown today. The president called the unarmed teen’s death heartbreaking. He also urged reflection and understanding.

In a statement President Obama said, “The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

The president made reference to the federal investigation that Attorney General Holder announced yesterday, “The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and US Attorney’s Office, have opened a concurrent, federal inquiry. The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right. I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

Ferguson, MO police have refused to release the name of the officer who shot and killed the unarmed teenager due to threats against the shooter, but the situation has so resulted in violent protests, looting, and more than thirty arrests.

According to PoliticusUSA’s Justin Baragona, who was on the scene, “Residents in the area are heartbroken over what happened Sunday night. Instead of giving voice to a cause and shedding light on an issue that seems to disproportionately affect the African-American community, the images of looting and rioting will now be what is associated with this tragedy. Community leaders and Mike Brown’s family have condemned the criminal activities that occurred in the wake of a peaceful demonstration, but the damage has been done. On Monday morning, some residents expressed their thought that most of those involved in the looting were not from Ferguson, but from surrounding communities taking advantage of the situation. If true, that is even sadder as they do not have to deal with the ramifications of their actions.”

President Obama finds himself once again in a situation where he is trying to calm the nation after another unarmed African-American teen has been gunned down. The president was right. The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, but it is also enraging. These types of killings are based many times based on fear and racial stereotypes. Police officer or not, this type of killing was at best a horrible misunderstanding. At worst, it was an act of murder by a person who was supposed to be protecting and serving.

Either way, a young man is dead. His parents have been devastated, and the community is heartbroken. The worst part is that it should never have happened.

4 Replies to “President Obama Calls The Police Shooting Of Michael Brown Heartbreaking”

  1. Thank you, Mr. President. Your warm, reflective and measured response inviting us all to reflect and understand. I can understand better when police around the country stop shooting young black men without cause. I know the task is difficult and that police officers can feel threatened without what video shows as no threat. That isn’t a good enough excuse. We must do better.

  2. Judging from the white-hot anger among so many residents of Ferguson, Missouri, this incident is far from being an isolated one of police misconduct. It’s exactly the kind of incident that results in so much distrust of police in so many black communities. That distrust leads to a don’t-snitch mentality, which in turn leads to serious, unpunished crimes. Nobody wins in that kind of scenario. That’s because many people fear police more than they do the criminals in their midst. Law enforcement also ends up not winning, because I have no doubt that there are exemplary officers who have paid with their very lives for the criminally stupid behavior of some fellow officers. One predictable response to incidents like this is the slew of self-righteous, patronizing remarks about the “ills” in black communities. These asinine remarks are always made with total disregard for the fact that one can have a 2-parent family and a stellar education. It’s a simple issue of right and wrong.

  3. In defense of black rage….

    In the words of Harlem Renaissance poet Claude McKay who penned these words 95 years ago in response to the Red Summer of 1919.

    If we must die, let it not be like hogs

    Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,

    While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs

    Making their mock at our accursèd lot.

    If we must die, O let us nobly die,

    So that our precious blood may not be shed

    In vain; then even the monsters we defy

    Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!

    O kinsmen! we must meet the common foe!

    Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,

    And for their thousand blows deal one death-blow!

    What though before us lies the open grave?

    Like men we’ll the murderous, cowardly pack,

    Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!

    I offer no answers. I offer only grief and rage and hope.

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