Thursday afternoon, live from his vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, President Barack Obama held a press conference to make comments on the tumultuous events in Ferguson, MO and the aftermath of the shooting of unarmed teenager Mike Brown by a Ferguson police officer.
During the minutes leading up to the announcement, many in the mainstream media were speculating on what the president might be obligated to say or do in light of these affairs. Would he announce federal legislation to combat these things in the future? Would he reprimand the Ferguson Police department for their actions in exacerbating the rioting? Would he make another moving speech regarding his personal connection to the death of Mike Brown in a way similar to the manner in which he spoke out during the Trayvon Martin incident? Sadly, he did nothing of the sort.
Looking tired and almost disinterested, Mr. Obama’s words were hardly stern or decisive. His words came on the heels of his released statement on the death of Michael Brown released by the White House on Tuesday.
RELATED: Obama Releases Mike Brown Statement
“I’ve already tasked the Department of Justice and FBI to independently investigate the death of Michael Brown. The Department of Justice is also consulting with the FBI about ways to maintain public safety while avoiding unnecessary escalation.”
However, unnecessary escalation is exactly what had already happened on the streets of Ferguson as a highly-militarized police force continues to fire tear gas and rubber bullets at nonviolent protestors, riots, uninvolved civilians and journalists alike. Mr. Obama also reiterated that he felt it was time for the community to reflect on what’s happening and find a way to come together. Unfortunately, the President did not provide details on how he would like or plan for that to happen.
He called the death of Michael Brown “heartbreaking and tragic” but stopped short of condemning the police department for its heavy-handedness other than saying the Ferguson police department should be open and transparent with their investigation and that journalists should not be molested by law enforcement in any way when they’re simply trying to do their jobs. The President told reporters that there is never an excuse for violence against the police, alluding to recent reports that rioters are using Molotov cocktails and throwing rocks at law enforcement officials. But looking worn and tired, passionless and detached, Obama’s news conference on the events of Ferguson were disappointing to many.
See the entire video of his speech below.