A close ally said Sunday that President Obama would like to visit Ferguson, Mo., but probably won’t because of an ongoing federal investigation into the killing of an unarmed teenager.
“I think the reason it’s a quandary is because the federal government is investigating right now,” said Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., speaking on NBC’s Meet The Press. “And you don’t want to appear to influence that investigation.”
While a local grand jury declined to indict a police officer last week in connection with the shooting death of Michael Brown, a federal civil rights investigation remains open.
The grand jury’s decision Monday triggered protests and riots in the St. Louis suburb.
Patrick, a long-time ally of Obama, told NBC he thinks that the president wants to go to Ferguson “to comfort the family of Michael Brown who are having to relive this tragedy all over again and to reassure both the community at large and the community of law enforcement.”
While Attorney General Eric Holder has visited Ferguson, Patrick said it’s different for a president.
“You still don’t want to appear — I think, as president — to influence that investigation,” the Massachusetts governor said.
When a reporter asked Obama himself on Monday night if he planned to travel to Ferguson, the president replied:
“Well, let’s take a look and see how things are going. Eric Holder has been there. We’ve had a whole team from the Justice Department there, and I think that they have done some very good work. As I said, the vast majority of the community has been working very hard to try to make sure that this becomes an opportunity for us to seize the moment and turn this into a positive situation.”
SOURCE: USA Today – David Jackson