Four days into the violent protests in Ferguson, Missouri, President Obama is calling for police to change their response to clashes with the community.
In a news conference this afternoon, the President said he’d been in contact with both the Department of Justice and local officials on the ground to work on “maintaining public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding uneccessary escalation.”
“I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson,” he added. “There is never an excuse for violence against police… There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protestors in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.”
Obama voiced his objection to how journalists and reporters were treated by officers. “Police should not be bullying or arresting journalists who are just trying to do their jobs and report to the American people on what they see on the ground,” he said, adding that Americans needed to find common ground and hold each other “to a high standard.”
“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.”