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U.S. Attorney General to visit Ferguson for shooting investigation

Editor: Zhou Minxi 丨Xinhua

08-19-2014 07:41 BJT

WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama announced Monday that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson in the state of Missouri on Wednesday to carry out a federal investigation into the shooting incident that took place there nine days ago.

During a press conference at White House, Obama said Holder's visit to Ferguson will include meetings with federal investigators and local community directors. Before the press conference, Obama had met with Holder, spoken with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon as well as some Missouri senators.

The President said Holder will also meet with law enforcement officials "to help bring about peace and calm in Ferguson."

"While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police, only deserves to raise tensions and stir chaos, it undermines, rather than advancing justice," Obama said.

Obama, however, noted that constitutional rights to speak freely, assemble and those of the press must be "vigilantly safeguarded... especially in moments like these." "There's no excuse for excessive force by police," he added.

The president said Ferguson is "rightly hurting," but called once again for people to seek some understanding rather than to simply "holler at each other". "Let's seek to heal, rather than to wound each other," he said.

"In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. In too many communities, too many men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear," Obama added.

According to the President, his own initiative for the project "My Brother's Keeper", which is aimed to provide economic and educational support to disadvantaged minority youth in the country, has already made significant progress.

In an interview with CNN, Governor Nixon said he appreciates the president and Holder's efforts, but acknowledges the continued tensions in his state. "It was a hard night last night and we're hoping for a better night tonight."

Early Monday morning, Nixon announced he was deploying the state National Guard to Ferguson to address the "intensifying violent attacks" there. In a statement later, the governor announced there would not be a curfew on Monday night and that the Guard would have a "limited mission".

On Aug. 9, 18-year-old African American Michael Brown was shot dead by police in Ferguson, Missouri. Vigils soon turned into riots and Governor Jay Nixon declared last Saturday a state of emergency in Ferguson.

The President has taken a two-day break from his summer vacation to huddle with top advisors at the White House on issues related to situation in Iraq and riot in Ferguson. He is facing criticism for spending two weeks on the Massachusetts island amid crises home and abroad.

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