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Obama Calls on Nation to Accept Ferguson Decision, Protest Peacefully

The president urged protesters to stay peaceful and police to exercise restraint in the wake of the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson.

President Barack Obama called on the nation to accept the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury's decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown — and urged protesters to stay peaceful and police to exercise restraint. The president's attempt to quell unrest came as violent clashes played out on the streets of Ferguson shortly after the grand jury decision was announce.

"We are a nation built on the rule of law, so we have to accept this decision was the grand jury's to make," Obama said.

"I join Michael's parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully," he added. "Michael Brown's parents have lost more than anyone. We should honor their decision."

Obama went on to say local authorities should "show care and restraint" in dealing with demonstrators. "They need to work with the community, not against the community," to distinguish between those who simply want their voices heard and those who would use the decision as "an excuse" to commit crimes.

"In too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color," he said. But, he added, "there's never an excuse for violence."