Obama Announces Justice Department Investigation; Sends Holder to Ferguson, Missouri
President Obama announced that the Justice Department would complete an independent investigation of the shooting death of African American teenager Michael Brown, in response to the continued unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.
Holder is expected to travel to the St. Louis suburb on Wednesday to meet with community leaders and law officials.
Obama again called for peace in the community.
“Let me call once again for us to seek some understanding rather than simply holler at each other,” Obama said. “Let's seek to heal rather than to wound each other. As Americans we've got to use this moment to seek out our shared humanity that's been laid bare by this moment.“
Obama tried to positioned himself between both sides of the conflict, but acknowledged that there were racial problems in the nation’s justice system.
“Young African-American and Hispanic boys tend to get suspended from school at much higher rates than other kids,” Obama said adding that they also had “more frequent interactions” with law enforcement officials.
Obama also criticized the “small minority” of protestors in Ferguson who were “tossing molotov cocktails” or “looting stores.”
“They are damaging the cause, not advancing it,” he said.
Part of the problem, he explained, was their social economic upbringing, a problem that plagued America for centuries.
“There are young black men that commit crime and we can argue about why that happens because of the poverty they were born into and lack of opportunity or school systems that failed them or what have you,” he said. “If they commit a crime, then they need to be prosecuted because every community has an interest in public safety.”