As anger intensified across the United States following a grand jury’s decision not to charge a white police officer for fatally shooting an unarmed black teenager, US President Barack Obama called on Americans to be “constructive” by engaging in debate about racial tensions and law enforcement.
“To those who think that what happened in Ferguson is an excuse for violence, I do not have any sympathy for that. I have no sympathy at all for destroying your own communities,” he said.
“But for the overwhelming majority of people who just feel frustrated and pain, because they get a sense that maybe some communities aren’t treated fairly or some individuals aren’t seen as worthy as others, I understand that,” added Obama.
Meanwhile, Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, the officer who gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown, has spoken publically about the fatal shooting.
He told American network ABC News that he felt it was his duty to chase the unarmed youth.
Wilson described what was his first time to fire his gun on the job.
Officer Darren Wilson, Ferguson Police Department: “After he’s coming at me and I decide to shoot, I fired a series of shots and paused.”
George Stephanopoulos, ABC News Reporter: “What did you see?”
Officer Darren Wilson, Ferguson Police Department: “I noticed at least one of them hit him, I don’t know where but I saw his body kind of just flinch a little and after that I paused and again yelled ‘stop, get on the ground,’ giving him the opportunity to stop. And he ignored all the commands and he just kept running. And so after he kept running again, I shot another series of shots and at least one of those hit him because I saw the flinch.
Officer Wilson’s solicitor later told another American broadcaster that his client’s life as a police officer was “over”.
Attorneys for the Brown family vowed to push for federal charges against the Officer Wilson.