Politics & Government

Obama: Missouri teen's death is ‘heartbreaking’

Stephen Hampton uses police tape as he demonstrates in front of the burned QuikTrip on W. Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo. on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT)
Stephen Hampton uses police tape as he demonstrates in front of the burned QuikTrip on W. Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo. on Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/MCT) MCT

President Barack Obama on Tuesday described the death of a Missouri teenager who was shot to death Saturday by a local police officer “heartbreaking.”

“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 a statement.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced on Monday that the FBI and Justice Department opened an investigation into Brown’s death.

“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,” Obama said. “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.”

Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was allegedly shot by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer following an altercation, according to news reports. After the shooting, vandalism and looting were reported.

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