President Barack Obama said in a statement on Tuesday that the police shooting of a black teen in Missouri was “heartbreaking.” He also urged “reflection and understanding” amid tensions between protesters and police following the teen’s death.
The 18-year-old teen, Michael Brown, died Saturday. Protests, sometimes resulting in violence, occurred in Ferguson, Mo., outside St. Louis, on Sunday and Monday. Attorney General Eric Holder has directed the Justice Department to monitor the situation.
“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time,” Obama said in the statement.
“I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding,” he continued. “We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”