President Obama and Governor Nixon Weigh In On Ferguson Protests

By Linda Ong |

Published 08/14 2014 07:18PM

Updated 08/14 2014 07:50PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- On the fifth day of the Ferguson protests, state and federal officials weighed in on the situation. Gov. Jay Nixon was in support of peaceful protest, but asked for an end to lawless behavior.

"That voice needs to be heard and we want to help.  But we can't have lawlessness in this," said Gov. Nixon. "We got to stick with this. We got to use it as an excuse to spin off. To use it as an excuse to push forward."

On Thursday, Gov. Nixon spoke publicly for the first time about the Ferguson protests.

"Sometimes in the complicated nature of facts and then the disparate way of opinions, folks sometimes sway away from the long-term clear guideposts that all of us look at," said Gov. Nixon.

Nixon's response came after tensions between Ferguson police and protestors reached new heights on Wednesday. Those protests started after police shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown over the weekend.

What started as peaceful protests quickly escalated, ending with Ferguson Police deploying tear gas on protestors.

President Obama asked for transparency from local authorities in finding the facts and appealed for justice and calm.

"There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting," said Pres. Obama. "There is also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests."   

Senator Claire McCaskill said demilitarizing police is her top priority in the wake of the recent violence.

"I think that the police response has become a part of the problem, as opposed to being part of the solution," said Sen. McCaskill.

Gov. Nixon spent the rest of his day meeting with local authorities to work on changing the tone of the situation, and ultimately finding truth.

"In the horrific facts that started this activity, we must make sure that justice prevails," said Gov. Nixon.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, approximately 20 troopers from Springfield have been deployed to Ferguson to assist with the situation.

President Obama also announced that he has tasked the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigations with independently investigating the death of Brown.

On Thursday, a vigil was held on Park Central Square in Springfield as part of a National Moment of Silence in honor of victims of police brutality.

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