President Barack Obama urges calm, constructive action following Ferguson grand jury decision

A weary sounding President Barack Obama urged calm after the announcement that the Ferguson grand jury concluded its work and did not indict Officer Darren Wilson on any charges involving the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

president_official_portrait_hiresHe also urged constructive work moving forward.

“There will be some negative reaction and it will make for good TV,” he said. “We need to lift up constructive dialogue.”

Obama quoted Michael Brown’s family’s wishes for nonviolence following months of unrest.

“Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone,” he said. “We should be honoring their wishes.”

The Atlanta Police Department had no related incidents to report following the grand jury’s decision.

Obama noted that Attorney General Eric Holder and staff members have been engaged following the shooting, and said the country should act up on the opportunity for positive change.

“There are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up,” Obama said, saying that law enforcement “too often feels applied in a discriminatory fashion” and yet no communities need good policing more than low-income communities of color where crime may be an issue. “There are good people on all sides of this debate, in both the Democrat and Republican parties, that are interested in lifting up best practices.”

Asked if he planned to visit Ferguson the president did not give a definitive answer, but took a wait-and-see approach.

“The situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges we face as a nation,” he said.

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