The situation in Ferguson, Mo., escalated overnight as officers in riot gear reportedly used tear gas on crowds and arrested sixteen people, including two reporters. And the political world is increasingly weighing in on the conflict. In a statement, Gov. Jay Nixon called the situation “deeply troubling” and announced that he will visit the area. “While we all respect the solemn responsibility of our law enforcement officers to protect the public, we must also safeguard the rights of Missourians to peaceably assemble and the rights of the press to report on matters of public concern,” Nixon said. The White House said last night that President Obama has been briefed on the escalating situation, which erupted after 18 year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer whose name has so far been withheld.
The president hasn’t shied away in the past from using the bully pulpit in situations involving law enforcement and race. Remember Henry Louis Gates? And last July, Obama gave a surprise press conference to address the death of Trayvon Martin - a case many observers have compared to Michael Brown's....
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