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Pres. Obama: No Excuse for Excessive Force by Police in Missouri Protests

Created: 08/14/2014 12:26 PM KAALtv.com

EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) - President Barack Obama says there is no excuse for the use of excessive force by police in the tense aftermath of the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and no excuse for violence against the police.

In brief remarks near his vacation spot in Martha's Vineyard, Obama said he wants an open and transparent investigation of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, so that justice is done.

He also said police shouldn't be arresting and bullying journalists who are doing their jobs. Two reporters were taken into custody and briefly jailed Wednesday evening in the St. Louis suburb.


FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Police in Ferguson, Missouri, are defending their use of tear gas and smoke bombs, after another night of chaos in the St. Louis suburb in the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Police say officers last night tossed tear gas to disperse a large crowd of protesters after some threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at officers. More than 10 people were arrested.

A police spokesman says it's "scary" for officers dealing with the protests -- who hear gunshots and "don't know where they're coming from."

But the response is drawing criticism. Civil rights activist Al Sharpton says the Justice Department should monitor the way the police are handling the crisis.

Among those arrested was St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who has been chronicling the protests on social media. He tells a radio station (KMOX) that what he calls the "heavy-handed approach by police" is "escalating the situation." And he says "more people are going to get hurt if this keeps up."

But county Police Chief Jon Belmar says his officers have responded with "an incredible amount of restraint."


FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - The hacker group Anonymous has released the name of the person that it says is the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

The Associated Press has not been able to verify the name. Police and prosecutors have declined to name the officer, citing concerns that his life, and the lives of his relatives, could be endangered if his identity is made public.

St. Louis County police and the FBI are investigating the shooting. County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said Wednesday that it could be several weeks before the investigation wraps up and authorities decide whether to charge the officer.

Brown was shot Saturday following a confrontation with the officer. Friends and relatives say he was doing nothing wrong.

Photo: Associated Press