The police shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown has "scratched an old wound," Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said on Monday in an interview with Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News.
The governor acknowledged that it wouldn't be easy for Ferguson and other racially-divided towns in Missouri to move forward after the death of Brown and the ensuing unrest.
"First of all, it’s a challenge that’s faced across the country," said Nixon, who last week ordered the State Highway Patrol to take over policing of Ferguson and on Monday sent in the National Guard. "This has scratched an old wound in many ways, and that sometimes hurts as much as the first time."
He said that authorities wanted to let people exercise their right to protest but "understand that we need to use this horrific loss and death of Michael Brown as a way to find a way to bridge toward the future — to bring people together."
He added, "I know that’s hard. But we gotta get justice, we gotta get peace, and when those two come into contrast, it makes it impossible to get either."