Obama: 'We Need to Accept' Ferguson Decision

The president asks people to protest the grand jury's decision peacefully.
3:00 | 11/25/14

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Transcript for Obama: 'We Need to Accept' Ferguson Decision
As all of you know a few minutes ago the grand jury deliberating the death of Michael Brown issued its decision. It's now come that either way it was going to be subject. Of intense disagreement. Not only Ferguson but across America so I just want to say a few words. Suggesting how we might move forward. First and foremost we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand juries to make. There are Americans who agree whether. And their American swore deeply disappointed. Even angry. It's an understandable reaction. But I join Michael's parents and asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat. Michael's father's works. Hurting others. Or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what. The grand jury decides I do not want my son's death to be in vain. Want to lead to incredible change. Positive change. Change that makes the Saint Louis region better for everyone. Michael Brown's parents of lost more than anyone. We should be honoring. There were issues. I also appeals. The law enforcement officials and Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests. That may occur. Understand. Our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. Got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. As they do their jobs in the coming days they need to work with the community. Against the community. To distinguish. The handful of people who may use. The grand jury's decision as an excuse for violence. Distinguish them from the vast majority who just want their voice is heard. Around legitimate issues. In terms of how. Communities and law enforcement interact. Finally. We need to recognize the situation in Ferguson speaks to a broader challenges that we still face as a nation. The fact is it too many parts of this country. Deep distrust exists between law enforcement in communities of color. Some of this is the result of legacy of racial discrimination. In this country. And this is tragic because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with a higher crime rates. The good news is we know. There are things we can do to help. And I've instructed attorney general holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations. Between communities. And law enforcement. That means working what law enforcement officials to make sure their ranks are representative of the communities they serve. We know that makes a difference. It means working to train officials. So that law enforcement conducts itself. In a way that is fair to everybody. It means enlisting the community actively on what should be everybody's goal and that is to prevent crime. And there are good people on all sides of this debate. As well as in both Republican and democratic parties that are interest did not only lifting up best practices. Because we know that their communities who've been able to be aware there's an effective way. But also were interested in working. Where this administration and local state officials. To start tackling much needed criminal justice reform. So. Those should be the lessons that we draw from these tragic events. We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson this is an issue for America. We have made enormous progress. In race relations. Over the course. Of the past several decades. Eyewitness that in my own wife. And to deny that progress. I think is to deny America's capacity for change. But what is also true is that there are still problems. And communities of color aren't just making these problems up. Separating that from this particular decision. There are issues in which the law. Too often feels as if it is being applied and discriminatory fashion. I don't think that's the norm I don't think that's. True for the majority of communities. Or the vast majority of the law enforcement officials but these are real issues. And we have to let them up and not deny them or try to tamp them down we need to do is to understand them and figure out how to weigh. Make more progress. And that can be done. That won't be done by throwing bottles. There won't be done by smashing car windows. That won't be done by using this is an excuse. Two vandalized property and certainly won't be done by hurting anybody. It's so. To those in Ferguson. There are ways of channeling. Your concerns constructive way and there are ways. But channeling your concerns be struck to. Michael Brown's parents understand. What it means to be constructive. The vast majority of peaceful protesters. They understand it as well. Those of you war. Watching tonight. Understand that. There's never excuse for violence. Particularly when there are a lot of people and goodwill out there or won't work on these issues. On the other end those were only interest in focusing on the violence. And just want the problem go away. Need to recognize that. We do have work to do here. And we shouldn't try to paper over. Whenever we do that. Bang you're may momentarily subsided but over time. It builds up. And America. Isn't everything that it could be. And I am confident that if we focus. Our attention on the problem. And we look at what has happened in communities around the country effectively. Then we can make progress not just in Ferguson but and a lot of other cities and communities around the country.

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

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