President Obama, Eric Holder, and Michael Brown’s Family Strongly Condemn Shooting of Two Police Officers in Ferguson

Paramedics load one of two police officers who were shot while standing guard in front of the Ferguson Police Station during a protest on Thursday, March 12, 2015.
Paramedics load one of two police officers who were shot while standing guard in front of the Ferguson Police Station during a protest on Thursday, March 12, 2015.

12:30 P.M.

President Barack Obama says his thoughts and prayers are with the two police officers who were wounded in a shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

The president took to Twitter on Thursday to relay his prayers to the officers who were shot during a protest outside Ferguson police headquarters.

Obama also denounced violence against police, writing that the “path to justice is one all of us must travel together.”

Obama signed the tweet with his initials, which indicates he personally composed the note.

The officers have been released from the hospital. One was shot in the face, while the other was shot in the shoulder.

12:20 P.M.

The family of 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose fatal shooting by a Ferguson police officer last year sparked widespread protests, is condemning the recent shooting of two Ferguson officers.

The family released a statement through their attorney, saying the shootings during a protest early Thursday were “senseless.” They say they won’t tolerate “any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement.”

Brown’s family also echoed sentiments by local activists denouncing the actions of “stand-alone agitators” who they say are trying to derail the nonviolent nationwide movement to address police brutality.

The family says its thoughts and prayers are with the officers and their families.

11:20 A.M.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says the shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, was “inexcusable and repugnant.”

Holder released a statement Thursday condemning violence against any public safety officials, calling it “cowardly.”

He cited the early morning shootings in Ferguson that wounded two officers, along with this week’s death of a deputy federal marshal in Louisiana and last week’s killing of an officer in Philadelphia.

Holder says “such senseless acts of violence threaten the very reforms that non-violent protesters in Ferguson and around the country” have been working toward for several months.

He says he hopes for the full and speedy recovery of the Ferguson officer, and said the U.S. Justice Department stands ready to assist in the investigation.

11 A.M.

Police have converged on a home in Ferguson and taken people in for questioning following the shootings of two police officers.

St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman says officers converged on the house Thursday. He said people were taken in for questioning, though other details weren’t immediately released.

Both officers were shot shortly after midnight during a protest outside Ferguson police headquarters. The officers have been released from the hospital. One was shot in the face, the other in the shoulder. Their names haven’t been released.

10:50 A.M.

A police spokesman says the two officers who were shot during a protest in Ferguson have been released from the hospital.

St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman said Thursday that both officers have been released.

10:30 A.M.

Missouri’s governor is asking the public for help identifying who shot two police officers in Ferguson.

Gov. Jay Nixon says the officers were “intentionally targeted” during protests outside Ferguson’s police station. The governor says his thoughts and prayers are with the officers.

The Democrat says it’s imperative that anyone with information about the shooting to immediately come forward, “so that those who perpetrated these senseless crimes can be apprehended and brought to justice.”

Nixon says the Missouri State Highway Patrol is in contact with investigators with St. Louis County police and is ready to assist with the investigation.

Nixon says law enforcement officers risk their lives to protect the public, and he notes “the fact that these officers appear to have been intentionally targeted is deeply troubling.”

10 A.M.

Local and national civil rights leaders are condemning the shootings of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri.

John Gaskin III, a St. Louis community activist, says the “disgraceful and cowardly” attack was conducted by outside agitators who are intent on hijacking attention from protests that he says have produced meaningful reforms.

Gaskin says activists “cannot afford these kinds of incidents happening, because that gets us absolutely nowhere.”

One officer was shot in his face, the other in his shoulder, during a protest early Thursday morning outside Ferguson police headquarters. The protest followed the resignation of the city’s police chief. Both officers are hospitalized.

A spokesman for the Rev. Al Sharpton says Sharpton is against violence of any kind, especially against police.

9:30 A.M.

St. Louis County’s top official says the shooting of two officers in Ferguson shouldn’t be a setback for the community’s healing process.

County Executive Steve Stenger says he supports residents expressing their First Amendment rights in a nonviolent way, and believes Ferguson residents are concerned about the officers.

He says, “I think everyone with reasonable minds would want to avoid situations like this.”

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says a protest outside Ferguson police headquarters appeared to be winding down when the officers were shot just after midnight. He characterized the shooting as an “ambush.”

He says both officers “are good guys. I’m proud of them.”

9 A.M.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar says the two officers shot during a protest in Ferguson aren’t expected to have long-term injuries.

Belmar says one of the officers was shot in his face, just below his right eye and the bullet lodged behind his ear. The other officer was shot in his right shoulder, with the bullet leaving out his back.

Belmar says the shooting easily could have resulted in two deaths. He cited the two New York City officers who were ambushed in their police cruiser in December.

Belmar said, “we could have buried two police officers next week over this.”

8:45 A.M.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is calling for “healing and reform” after the shooting of two police officers outside the Ferguson Police Department.

The Missouri senator released a statement Thursday saying “acts of violence have no place in this process.”

Gunfire that erupted after midnight left a 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves with a facial wound and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County with a shoulder wound. Both were rushed to a hospital. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar described their injuries as serious.

The shootings followed a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

McCaskill says she hoped for a “full recovery” for the officers and added that she was praying for them and their families.

8 A.M.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar is planning a news conference to further address the shooting of two police officers during a protest outside the Ferguson Police Department.

A 32-year-old officer from nearby Webster Groves was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer from St. Louis County was shot in the shoulder.

Belmar said earlier Thursday that the officers were taken to a hospital, where they are conscious, but that both are seriously injured.

He is scheduled to speak again at 9 a.m. at the St. Louis County Police Headquarters.

The shootings happened after midnight as demonstrators gathered after the city’s police chief resigned in the wake of a scathing Justice Department report alleging bias in the police department and court.

SOURCE: The Associated Press

________________

Attorney General Holder’s Statement on the Overnight Shooting of Two Officers in Ferguson, Missouri

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement Thursday on the overnight shooting of two officers in Ferguson, Missouri:

“This heinous assault on two brave law enforcement officers was inexcusable and repugnant.  I condemn violence against any public safety officials in the strongest terms, and the Department of Justice will never accept any threats or violence directed at those who serve and protect our communities—from this cowardly action, to the killing of an officer in Philadelphia last week while he was buying a game for his son, to the tragic loss of a Deputy U.S. Marshal in the line of duty in Louisiana earlier this week.  Such senseless acts of violence threaten the very reforms that nonviolent protesters in Ferguson and around the country have been working towards for the past several months.  We wish these injured officers a full and speedy recovery.  We stand ready to offer any possible aid to an investigation into this incident, including the department’s full range of investigative resources.  And we will continue to stand unequivocally against all acts of violence against cops whenever and wherever they occur.”

–Department of Justice, Office of Public Affairs

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