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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

August 14, 2014 - 10:20 am

President Obama stepped up to the microphone early this afternoon during his Massachusetts vacation to express support for Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in dealing with the police shooting and ensuing protests just outside of St. Louis.

“I know that many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we’ve seen in the heartland of our country as police have clashed with people protesting,” Obama said. “Today, I’d like us all to take a step back and think about how we’re going to be moving forward. This morning I received a thorough update on the situation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who’s been following it and been in communication with his team.”

The DOJ and the FBI are already investigating the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, he noted.

“The Department of Justice is also consulting with local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation,” Obama said. “I made clear to the attorney general that we should do what is necessary to help determine exactly what happened and to see that justice is done.”

“I also just spoke with Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri. I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground and underscored that now is the time for all of us to reflect on what’s happened and to find a way to come together going forward.”

Obama said the governor, whose presence in the crisis has thus far been minimal, will be traveling to Ferguson. “He is a good man, and a fine governor. And I’m confident that, working together, he’s gonna be able to communicate his desire to make sure that justice is done and his desire to make sure that public safety is maintained in an appropriate way,” he said.

“Of course, it’s important to remember how this started. We lost a young man, Michael Brown, in heartbreaking and tragic circumstances. He was 18 years old. His family will never hold Michael in their arms again,” the president continued. “And when something like this happens, the local authorities, including the police, have a responsibility to be open and transparent about how they are investigating that death and how they are protecting the people in their communities.”

“There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.”

And, Obama added in reference to the Huffington Post and Washington Post reporters arrested last night, “There’s also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.”

“And here in the United States of America, 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. Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority,” he continued. “I know that emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. There are going to be different accounts of how this tragedy occurred.”

“There’re going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That’s part of our democracy. But let’s remember that we’re all part of one American family. We are united in common values and that includes belief in equality under the law and basic respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protest, a reverence for the dignity of every single man, woman and child among us and the need for accountability when it comes to our government.”

Obama added that “now’s the time for healing” and “now’s the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson.”

“Now is the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done and I’ve asked that the attorney general and the U.S. attorney on the scene continue to work with local officials to move that process forward,” the president said. “They will be reporting to me in the coming days about what’s being done to make sure that happens.”

Obama left without taking questions from the media and quickly departed for a nearby golf course.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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Top Rated Comments   
The real solution is to implement today's conservative/republican/tea party mentality. They are simply not armed enough. Hell, they're even holding up their hands to indicate they're unarmed! No wonder there's looting and violence and such. Down Texas, a white man totes an AK in a subway and gets respect. And you don't see all this uproar.

There's a need to get some guns in those black folks hands, get rid of the stinkin police, and all them problems will go away.

Where's the tea party when you need them? They're sitting on their hands.

14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority."

"However, those who are melanin-enriched can go on shootin', lootin' and rampagin' because those standards don't apply to you. You're victims and you vote democrap. Carry on."
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (14)
All Comments   (14)
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What a complete douchebag. He really believes that anyone gives a crap about what he says.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, I see. Now you urge peace and calm after finding out that Michael Brown robbed a store. Way to stay on top of your golf game, dykhead.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't know why cops in the western world don't just walk out. They do tend to get the "just back from 'nam treatment." As usual the answer to this is like the answer to any social problem A) v. tough, but quick and fast with lasting results B) a means of providing sociology and humanities graduates with jobs, and moral authority. Plus, ongoing agony for millions of American or world poverty-line people and their victims
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Update: Police chief rips Obama remarks (http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/215178-police-chief-hits-obama-for-ferguson-remarks)

(excerpt)
"I would contend that discussing [Ferguson, Mo.] police tactics from Martha's Vineyard is not helpful to ultimately calming the situation," Fraternal Order of Police director Jim Pasco said in an interview with The Hill.

"I think what he has to do as president and as a constitutional lawyer is remember that there is a process in the United States and the process is being followed, for good or for ill, by the police and by the county and by the city and by the prosecutors’ office," Pasco added. (end excerpt)

Somebody needs to watch Police Chief's back.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure the looting would stop if Michelle hashtagged them.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The real solution is to implement today's conservative/republican/tea party mentality. They are simply not armed enough. Hell, they're even holding up their hands to indicate they're unarmed! No wonder there's looting and violence and such. Down Texas, a white man totes an AK in a subway and gets respect. And you don't see all this uproar.

There's a need to get some guns in those black folks hands, get rid of the stinkin police, and all them problems will go away.

Where's the tea party when you need them? They're sitting on their hands.

14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Put down whatever video game you're playing. You showed little comprehension about conservatives nor tea party.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The tea party / libertarians are disgusted with both the militarized, unaccountable police AND the entitlement minded looters who are using this as excuse to commit arson, robbery and assault on innocent people, motivated by their own racism.

We're waiting on evidence to be presented, regarding the shooting, before making a judgement. Not just what the police say, and not just what an obviously biased "witness" says, about the entire incident and the policies of the police, in general.

Neither the Tea Party, nor Libertarians, are advocates for anarchy.

Nice straw man, though.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Put simply, we all need to hold ourselves to a high standard, particularly those of us in positions of authority."

"However, those who are melanin-enriched can go on shootin', lootin' and rampagin' because those standards don't apply to you. You're victims and you vote democrap. Carry on."
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
If he really believes this, why doesn't he take time off from his golfing and go there ad tell that community that to their face. Heroes die but once, this SOB is destined for a thousand deaths.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
but that party in the windy city over the forth was awsome, wasn't it ? that community is organzied.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
The completely bored Prez had his comments book ended by the clueless Governor of Missouri, and the deer-in-the-headlights Chief of Police in Ferguson.
I wasn't aware that there was a 3 Stooges film festival today.
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wow. I have to say that was a good statement except for the "transparent" part. “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means”
14 weeks ago
14 weeks ago Link To Comment
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