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The President: Good evening everybody.
As you know, a few moments ago,
the grand jury deliberating the death of Michael Brown
issued its decision.
It's an outcome that, either way,
was going to be subject of intense disagreement
not only in Ferguson, but across America.
So I want to just say a few words
suggesting how we might move forward.
First and foremost, we are a nation built
on the rule of law.
And so we need to accept that this decision
was the grand jury's to make.
There are Americans who agree with it,
and there are Americans who are deeply
disappointed, even angry.
It's an understandable reaction.
But I join Michael's parents in asking anyone
who protests this decision to do so peacefully.
Let me repeat Michael's father's words: "Hurting others
or destroying property is not the answer.
No matter what the grand jury decides,
I do not want my son's death to be in vain.
I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change,
change that makes the St. Louis region better
for everyone."
Michael Brown's parents have lost more than anyone.
We should be honoring their wishes.
I also appeal to the law enforcement officials
in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint
in managing peaceful protests that may occur.
Understand, our police officers put their lives
on the line for us every single day.
They've got a tough job to do to maintain public safety
and hold accountable those who break the law.
As they do their jobs in the coming days,
they need to work with the community,
not against the community, to distinguish the handful
of people who may use the grand jury's decision
as an excuse for violence -- distinguish them from
the vast majority who just want their voices heard
around legitimate issues in terms of how
communities and law enforcement interact.
Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson
speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation.
The fact is, in too many parts of this country,
a deep distrust exists between law enforcement
and communities of color.
Some of this is the result of the legacy
of racial discrimination in this country.
And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing
more than poor communities with higher crime rates.
The good news is we know there are things we can do to help.
And I've instructed Attorney General Holder to work with
cities across the country to help build better relations
between communities and law enforcement.
That means working with law enforcement officials
to make sure their ranks are representative
of the communities they serve.
We know that makes a difference.
It means working to train officials so that law
enforcement conducts itself in a way that
is fair to everybody.
It means enlisting the community actively on what
should be everybody's goal, and that is to prevent crime.
And there are good people on all sides of this debate,
as well as in both Republican and Democratic parties,
that are interested not only in lifting up best practices --
because we know that there are communities who have been able
to deal with this in an effective way -- but also who
are interested in working with this administration and local
and state officials to start tackling much-needed
criminal justice reform.
So those should be the lessons that we draw from
these tragic events.
We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for
Ferguson, this is an issue for America.
We have made enormous progress in race relations over
the course of the past several decades.
I've witnessed that in my own life.
And to deny that progress I think is to deny America's
capacity for change.
But what is also true is that there are still problems
and communities of color aren't just making these problems up.
Separating that from this particular decision,
there are issues in which the law too often feels
as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion.
I don't think that's the norm.
I don't think that's true for the majority of communities
or the vast majority of law enforcement officials.
But these are real issues.
And we have to lift them up and not deny them
or try to tamp them down.
What we need to do is to understand them
and figure out how do we make more progress.
And that can be done.
That won't be done by throwing bottles.
That won't be done by smashing car windows.
That won't be done by using this as an excuse
to vandalize property.
And it certainly won't be done by hurting anybody.
So, to those in Ferguson, there are ways of channeling your
concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling
your concerns destructively.
Michael Brown's parents understand what it means
to be constructive.
The vast majority of peaceful protesters,
they understand it as well.
Those of you who are watching tonight understand that there's
never an excuse for violence, particularly when there
are a lot of people in goodwill out there who
are willing to work on these issues.
On the other hand, those who are only interested in focusing
on the violence and just want the problem to go away need
to recognize that we do have work to do here,
and we shouldn't try to paper it over.
Whenever we do that, the anger may momentarily subside,
but over time, it builds up and America isn't everything
that it could be.
And I am confident that if we focus our attention on the
problem and we look at what has happened in communities around
the country effectively, then we can make progress not just
in Ferguson, but in a lot of other cities
and communities around the country.
Okay?
The Press: Mr. President, will you go to Ferguson
when things settle down there?
The President: Well, let's take a look
and see how things are going.
Eric Holder has been there.
We've had a whole team from the Justice Department there,
and I think that they have done some very good work.
As I said, the vast majority of the community has been working
very hard to try to make sure that this becomes
an opportunity for us to seize the moment and turn
this into a positive situation.
But I think that we have to make sure that we focus at least
as much attention on all those positive activities that are
taking place as we do on a handful of folks who
end up using this as an excuse to misbehave
or to break the law or to engage in violence.
I think that it's going to be very important -- and I think
the media is going to have a responsibility as well --
to make sure that we focus on Michael Brown's parents,
and the clergy, and the community leaders,
and the civil rights leaders, and the activists,
and law enforcement officials who have been working
very hard to try to find better solutions --
long-term solutions, to this issue.
There is inevitably going to be some negative reaction,
and it will make for good TV.
But what we want to do is to make sure that we're also
focusing on those who can offer the kind of real progress that
we know is possible, that the vast majority of people
in Ferguson, the St. Louis region, in Missouri,
and around the country are looking for.
And I want to be partners with those folks.
And we need to lift up that kind of constructive dialogue
that's taking place.
All right.
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President Obama Issues a Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

1782 タグ追加 保存
Halu Hsieh 2014 年 12 月 30 日 に公開
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