President Obama Calls for 'Peace and Calm' in Ferguson

The president addresses the violence in the wake of Michael Brown's shooting death by police.
4:00 | 08/14/14

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Transcript for President Obama Calls for 'Peace and Calm' in Ferguson
Want to address. Something has -- reminders over the last couple -- days and that's the situation and Ferguson Missouri. I know many Americans have been deeply disturbed by the images we've seen in the heartland of our country -- police have clashed -- people protesting. Today -- like let's all take a step back and think about how going to be moving forward. This morning are received a thorough update on the situation from attorney general Eric Holder who's been following. And been in communication with his team. I've already tasked the department of justice and the FBI to independently investigate. The death of Michael Brown a long way -- local officials on the ground. The department justice is also consulting the local authorities about ways that they can maintain public safety. Without restricting the right of peaceful protest and while avoiding unnecessary escalation. -- make clear to be 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 -- -- I expressed my concern over the violent turn that events have taken on the ground and underscored the now's the time for all of us to reflect on what's happened in the find a way. To come together going forward. He is going to be traveling to Ferguson. He is a good man and a fine governor. And I'm confident that working together. He's -- that communicate. His desire to make sure -- justice is done and this desire to make sure the public safety is. Maintained in an appropriate way. Of course is important -- -- how this started we lost a young man Michael brown and heartbreaking. And tragic circumstances. He was eighteen years old. -- family will never holds Michael and their arms again. 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 there are protecting the people in their communities. There is never an excuse for violence against police for. For those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism. Or looting. There's also no excuse for police -- 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 Boeing or arresting journalists who were just trying to do their jobs. And report to the American people on what they see on the ground. Put simply we all need hold ourselves to a high standard. Particular those of us in positions of authority. I know that emotions are raw right now -- Ferguson. And there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. They're going to be different accounts. How this tragedy occurred. They're going to be differences in terms of what needs to happen going forward. That's part of our democracy but let's remember -- were all part of one American family. We are united in common values and that includes belief. And 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. So now's the time for healing. Now's the time for peace and home on the streets of Ferguson. Now's the time for an open and transparent process to see that justice is done. And I've asked that the attorney general and the US attorney on the scene. Continue to work with local officials. To move that process forward there will be reporting to me in the coming days. About what's being done to make sure. That happens. Thanks very much -- --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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