President Obama today reacted to the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown, offering his and Michelle's "deepest condolences" and calling the teen's death "heartbreaking," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. "I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions," he said, but people should "remember this young man through reflection and understanding" as the Justice Department investigates with local officials. "We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds." His remarks come after another evening of rioting by mostly young, black crowds in Ferguson, Mo. In related news:
- Ferguson police today announced they would not release the name of the officer who shot Brown, citing threats on social media against another officer who was unfairly accused of pulling the trigger, CNN reports. Police said yesterday they would release the shooter's name.
- "That doesn't give the community confidence," the Brown family's attorney said at a news conference. "That doesn't make it transparent."
- Brown friend Dorian Johnson, 22, gave his version of the shooting on MSNBC. He says the conflict began when Brown didn't immediately comply with a police order to walk on the sidewalk. An officer then put him in a choke-hold, and when Brown struggled, the other officer shot him. Brown was shot again trying to flee, and put his hands up, saying, "I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting!" That's when the fatal shots were fired, Johnson said. Police say Brown attacked one of the officers and tried to grab his gun.