Obama: ‘I’ll Be Watching’ the National Guard in Missouri

by Andrew Johnson

​President Obama indicated that he will not visit Ferguson, Mo., in order to avoid “putting my thumb on the scale” in the investigation into the killing on teen Michael Brown, but he will be sending his top law-enforcement official to the city. The Missouri governor announced Monday that he would be deploying the state’s National Guard to address the situation in the town, and Obama said he’d be keeping tabs on the state government’s behavior.

“I have to be very careful about not prejudging these events before investigations are completed,” he told reporters during his two-day visit to the White House before returning to Martha’s Vineyard. “I have to make sure I don’t look like I’m putting my thumbs on the scales one way or the other.”

President Obama announced that Attorney General Eric Holder and other Department of Justice officials will be traveling to the city on Wednesday to meet with authorities and community leaders.

He also warned the violence by some demonstrations and looters “undermines rather than advancing justice,” but also spoke out against the use of excessive force by police, including from the recently deployed National Guard. “I’ll be watching over the next several days to assess whether [the National Guard] is helping rather than hindering progress in Ferguson,” he said.

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