President Obama Discusses Ferguson; Stresses Importance of Non-Violence

Schools close and anxiety mounts as the grand jury is about to release its decision.
2:57 | 11/22/14

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Transcript for President Obama Discusses Ferguson; Stresses Importance of Non-Violence
into this weekend, all eyes on ferguson,missouri. The grand jury's decision could come any time now. Will they charge a police officer that shot an unarmed black teen? Overnight, dramatic images of tension in the streets. This demonstrator, under arrest. And just moments ago, president Obama urging calm, sitting down with George stephanopoulos. What is your message to the people of Ferguson and others looking to protest? I think first and foremost, keep protests peaceful. This is a country that allows people to express their views, and protest actions they feel are unjust. But using any event as an excuse for justice is contrary to the rule of law and contrary to who we are. Meanwhile, Steve osunsami on the ground in Ferguson. Reporter: It's almost time. ABC news is learning that the grand jury, meeting behind these windows, could come to a vote soon. Deciding possible charges in the racially divisive shooting death of Michael brown. Today, Missouri prosecutors announced they'll hold a televised news conference revealing the results. It's already getting ugly on the streets. Demonstrators wrestling with police, protesters telling me the police care more about protecting property than they do about the people. We can replace property. You can't replace people. Okay? So they got more responsibility in my mind to the demonstrators than the protect the property. Reporter: St. Louis county police alone bought 650 tear gas grenades and 2,000 plastic handcuffs. They bought 6,000 pepper balls and 1,500 bean bags filled with chemicals that sting the eyes and nose, meant to send demonstrators scrambling. More than 1,000 extra officers will be on the ground, recently schooled in constitutional rights to public protest. The FBI has set up shop. 100 agents on the ground. Ferguson's police chief says he's still hopeful. I want to see the department come through on the other side of this better, the community, and the nation. Reporter: The grand jury has the same racial makeup of the county. Nine white jurors, and three black jurors. Seven are men and five of them, women. They need nine votes to indict officer Wilson on charges of murder or manslaughter. Businesses are ready and boarding up, and at least one school district, anticipating a decision here this weekend, has already cancelled classes Monday and Tuesday.

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

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