Monday, October 20, 2014

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President Obama Calls for Understanding in Ferguson, Missouri

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- President Obama addressed the nation Monday, and said the Justice Department has opened an independent federal civil rights investigation into the shooting death of a young man in Ferguson, Missouri.

The suburb of St. Louis erupted into protests following the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer. Brown, 18, was shot Aug. 9 by police officer Darren Wilson. Brown was not armed.

Obama said that Attorney General Eric Holder would be traveling to Ferguson on Wednesday.

The governor of Missouri lifted a midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew and ordered in the National Guard to help restore order in Ferguson, which has seen clashes between armored police and protesters. He said the Guard will be under the direction of the state Highway Patrol.

Obama said destruction that some in Ferguson have turned to undermines rather than advances justice.

"Let me call once again for us to seek some understanding rather than simply holler at each other," said President Obama. "Let's seek to heal rather than to wound each other. As Americans, we've got to use this moment to seek out our shared humanity that's been laid bare by this moment."

On Monday, Brown's family held a news conference, releasing the finds of an independent autopsy. Dr. Michael Baden, a well-known forensic pathologist, said Brown was shot twice in the head, and by the position of the wounds, it appears Brown's head was bent forward when he was hit. All the wounds were in the front of Brown's body.

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