Source: Carey Gilliams /Reuters
President Barack Obama called the police shooting death of an unarmed black teenager a tragedy and called on Tuesday for thoughtful response after two nights of violent protests, looting, arrests and tear gas in a St. Louis suburb.
He promised a full investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into the case, which has provoked outrage in the largely African-American town of Ferguson where police have not released the shooter’s name, citing security concerns and death threats.
“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but … I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding,” Obama said in a statement.
Friends and family of 18-year-old Michael Brown planned a peaceful church vigil for Tuesday night and his father pleaded for an end to the violence that has followed the incident, while activists demanded authorities release the name of the officer involved.
Standing with supporters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, Michael Brown Sr. said he wanted justice for his son but wanted it “the right way.”
“I need all of us to come together and do this right, the right way,” said Brown Sr., who wore a T-shirt showing his son’s baby picture. “No violence.”
The FBI has opened a civil rights investigation into the racially charged case and St. Louis County also is investigating.