President Obama on Ferguson, Again

Note: In a few minutes, President Obama is going to make another statement on what's happening in Ferguson. Here is one of the places where you will be able to watch it live.

I will post video and transcript here afterwards, as soon as they become available.

UPDATE 1: Being keenly aware of the President and/or his team rightly or wrongly feeling that he is limited in what he can say because of racism, I have a suggestion: This is going to sound like a joke, but it's not: This would be a perfect time to send out Biden to "go off script." I am utterly serious: Biden was chosen as veep because of his status as a white statesman. Let him leverage that now to change the conversation. I know Biden's credentials on race are garbage, but when I say "go off script," I mean appear to go off script w/ carefully crafted language. Let Biden create room for the President to agree with him, while also being able to do the "oh you know Joe" routine to maintain distance.

UPDATE 2: Here is video of the presser, which includes the President's statements on Iraq and Ferguson, as well as Q&A with the press corps. If you want to skip ahead to the Ferguson statement, start at 4:32.

UPDATE 3: The Washington Post has a complete transcript available here. Below is the excerpt of the President's statement on Ferguson.
I also want to address the situation in Ferguson, Missouri.

Earlier this afternoon, I spoke with Governor Nixon as well as Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill. I also met with Attorney General Eric Holder.

The Justice Department has opened an independent federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown. They are on the ground and, along with the FBI, they are devoting substantial resources to that investigation.

The attorney general himself will be travelling to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with the FBI agents and DOJ personnel conducting the federal criminal investigation, and he will receive an update from them on their progress. He will also be meeting with other leaders in the community, whose support is so critical to bringing about peace and calm in Ferguson.

Ronald Davis, the director of the DOJ's Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, or COPS, is also traveling to Ferguson tomorrow to work with police officials on the ground. We've also had experts from the DOJ's community relations service working in Ferguson since the days after the shooting to foster conversations among the local stakeholders and reduce tensions among the community.

So, let me close just saying a few words about the tensions there. We have all seen images of protesters and law enforcement in the streets. It's clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protesting. What's also clear is that a small minority of individuals are not.

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 serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines rather than advancing justice.

Let me also be clear that our constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble, and to report in the press must be vigilantly safeguarded, especially in moments like these. There's no excuse for excessive force by police or any action that denies people the right to protest peacefully.

Ours is a nation of laws, of citizens who live under them and for the citizens who enforce them. So, to a community in Ferguson that is rightly hurting and looking for answers, let me call once again for us to seek some understanding rather than simply holler at each other. 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. The potential of a young man, and the sorrows of parents, the frustrations of a community, the ideals that we hold as one united American family.

I've said this before: In too many communities around the country, a gulf of mistrust exists between local residents and law enforcement. In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear. And through initiatives like My Brother's Keeper, I'm personally committed to changing both perception and reality. And already, we're making some significant progress, as people of good will of all races are ready to chip in.

But that requires that we build, and not tear down. And that requires we listen, and not just shout. That's how we're going to move forward together—by trying to unite each other and understand each other, and not simply divide ourselves from one another. We're going to have to hold tight to those values in the days ahead. That's how we bring about justice, and that's how we bring about peace.

So, with that, I've got a few questions I'm going to take…
There's more in the full transcript about Ferguson, from the Q&A session.

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