President Obama, who addressed the nation Monday evening shortly after a grand jury announced that it declined to indict Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown, said that while, “the decision was the grand jury’s to make,” disappointment and anger about the announcement “is an understandable reaction.”
Obama echoed the calls of Michael Brown’s family who in recent days have called for peaceful protests following the grand jury’s decision. “Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes,” Obama said, also adding an appeal to police officers in Ferguson, “to show care and restrained in managing” protests.
But Obama also commented on the popular frustration with law enforcement officers and their policing of black and Latino communities. “We need to recognize the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges we still face as a nation. The fact is in too many parts of this country distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color.”
“Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country,” Obama said. “This is tragic because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with high crime rates.”
“There are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up,” Obama said, adding that there are still too many cases in which “the law too often feels as if it is being applied in a discriminatory fashion.”