President Obama reacts to grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson
WASHINGTON DC — President Obama made a statement almost immediately following the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney announcing that the grand jury had decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
President Obama, speaking from the White House briefing room, made a plea for peace from both sides: the protestors and the police.
“We are a nation of laws, so we need to accept that the decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed … who are angry.”
The president continued by saying he joined Michael Brown’s parents in asking that anyone who protests the decision do so peacefully. “Michael Brown’s parents lost more than anyone. We should honor their wishes,” the president said.
The president also made an appeal to the law enforcement in Ferguson to work with the community “to distinguish the handful of people who will use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence from the vast majority who just want their voices heard about legitimate issues on how their community and law enforcement interact.”
The president tied Ferguson with the broader problem with law enforcement with communities of color. “This is not just an issue for Ferguson; this is an issue for America,” Obama said.
The president said that he’s instructed Attorney General Eric Holder to work with cities across America to build better relationships between communities and law enforcement.