Obama: No excuse for violent, destructive protest

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Ferguson post-decision protests
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Obama: No excuse for violent, destructive protest
People watch as stores burn Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A Ferguson firefighter surveys rubble at a strip mall that was set on fire when rioting erupted following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. At least 12 buildings were torched and more than 50 people were arrested during the night-long rioting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Police gather on the street as protesters react after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A police car is set on fire after a group of protesters vandalize the vehicle after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Ferguson Market and Liquor store is vandalized after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
An armed police officer guards the area after a group of protesters vandalize a police cruiser after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
DELLWOOD, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A car burns behind a business during rioting on November 25, 2014 in Dellwood, Missouri. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. A grand jury today declined to indict officer Wilson. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A protestor spits after being hit by tear gas in her car after the riot erupted when the Grand Jury announced they will not indict white Officer Daren Wilson in the shooting death of black 18-year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. on November 24, 2014. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Cars burn at a dealership Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Dellwood, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
DELLWOOD, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Cars which were set on fire when rioting erupted following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case sit on a lot on November 25, 2014 in Dellword Missouri. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. At least 12 buildings were torched and more than 50 people were arrested during the night-long rioting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DELLWOOD, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Cars which were set on fire when rioting erupted following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case sit on a lot on November 25, 2014 in Dellword Missouri. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. At least 12 buildings were torched and more than 50 people were arrested during the night-long rioting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DELLWOOD, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A sign sits amidst rubble at a building that was damaged during a demonstration on November 25, 2014 in Dellwood, Missouri. Demonstrators caused extensive damage in Ferguson and surrounding areas last night after a St. Louis County grand jury decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Riot police run past a burning St. Louis County police car as hundreds of protesters gather after an announcement that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted in the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown day, November 24, 2014, in Ferguson, MO. The shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, has captivated the nation as a grand jury deliberated to decide whether to charge the officer with a crime. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, left standing on the top of a car, reacts as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A car drives by a burning building during a demonstration on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. A grand jury today declined to indict officer Wilson. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: Workers board up a window of a restaurant after it was smashed when rioting erupted following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. At least 12 buildings were torched and more than 50 people were arrested during the night-long rioting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
DELLWOOD, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A reporter looks through the window of a laundromat that was damaged during a demonstration on November 25, 2014 in Dellwood, Missouri. Demonstrators caused extensive damage in Ferguson and surrounding areas last night after a St. Louis County grand jury decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shuttered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
People walk away from a storage facility on fire after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 25: A Ferguson firefighter surveys damage to a strip mall that was set on fire when rioting erupted following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on November 25, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. At least 12 buildings were torched and more than 50 people were arrested during the night-long rioting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, left standing on the top of a car, reacts as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, second from left standing on the top of a car, hugs an unidentified man, wearing an I am Mike Brown shirt, as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Michael Brown Sr., center, listens along side Rev. Al Sharpton, right, as Brown family attorney Anthony Gray, left, speaks during a news conference at Greater St. Mark Church Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in St. Louis County, Mo. Rioting broke out Monday after a grand jury decided not to indict a white Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of the unarmed, black 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Michael Brown Sr., center, listens along side Rev. Al Sharpton, right, as Brown family attorney Anthony Gray, left, speaks during a news conference at Greater St. Mark Church Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in St. Louis County, Mo. Rioting broke out Monday after a grand jury decided not to indict a white Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of the unarmed, black 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
People gather around the burning stores Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A police car is set on fire after a group of protesters vandalize the vehicle after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A demonstrator flashes the victory sign before a burning police car during clashes between police and protesters over the decision in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on November 24, 2014. US President Barack Obama urged calm as violent protests broke out on the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury decided a white policeman will not face charges for killing a black teen. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
A police car burns during clashes between police and protesters over the decision in the shooting death 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on November 24, 2014. US President Barack Obama urged calm as violent protests broke out on the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury decided a white policeman will not face charges for killing a black teen. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Lesley McSpadden (L), mother of Michael Brown, reacts to hearing a grand jury decision over the 18-year-old unarmed black teenager's death, shot by a white police officer, in Ferguson on November 24, 2014. Protesters set buildings ablaze and looted stores in the US town of Ferguson on November 24 after a grand jury chose not to press charges against a white officer who shot dead a black teen. AFP PHOTO/Michael B. Thomas (Photo credit should read Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)
Police gather on the street as protesters react after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A protester walks out of a store with goods after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Protesters run for shelter as smoke fills the streets after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A protester squirts lighter fluid on a police car as the car windows are shuttered near the Ferguson Police Department after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, left standing on the top of a car, reacts as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, wearing sunglasses, reacts as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Protesters listen to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
An armed police officer guards the area after a group of protesters vandalize a police cruiser after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Protesters gather in front of the Ferguson Police Department before the announcement of the grand jury decision about whether to indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A Missouri grand jury heard evidence for months as it weighed whether to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Protesters gather in front of the Ferguson Police Department before the announcement of the grand jury decision about whether to indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A Missouri grand jury heard evidence for months as it weighed whether to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A protester walks out of a store with goods after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Police officers grab a protester after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, left standing on the top of a car, reacts as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Police officers guard as protesters react to the announcement of the grand jury decision, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Police officers grab a protester after the announcement of the grand jury decision, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A group of protesters vandalize a police vehicle after the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in St. Louis, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Police officers stand guard as protesters react to the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Police officers stand guard as protesters react to the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Protesters block streets after the announcement of the grand jury decision, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in St. Louis, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
ADDS NAME : Gina Gowdy waves a flag during a protest, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo., more than three months after an unarmed black 18-year-old man was shot and killed there by a white policeman in Ferguson. Ferguson and the St. Louis region are on edge in anticipation of the announcement by a grand jury whether to criminally charge Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Barbara Jones, joined by other protesters, raises her hands, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo., more than three months after an unarmed black 18-year-old man was shot and killed there by a white policeman. Ferguson and the St. Louis region are on edge in anticipation of the announcement by a grand jury whether to criminally charge Officer Darren Wilson in the killing of Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Melissa Carmarena, left, leans on Brianna Hines as they listen to speakers after a grand jury had decided not to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, in San Francisco, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Protesters gather outside the Chicago Police headquarters, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Chicago. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Protesters shove a police car after the announcement of the grand jury decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
A protester confronts police after listening to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Lesley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, second from left standing on the top of a car, hugs an unidentified man, wearing an I am Mike Brown shirt, as she listens to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury has decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A protester confronts police in front of the Ferguson Police department before the announcement of the grand jury decision about whether to indict a Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A Missouri grand jury heard evidence for months as it weighed whether to indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of Brown. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A protester flies a black and white flag as many protesters gather in front of the Ferguson Police Department as they listen to the announcement of the grand jury decision Monday, Nov. 24, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. A grand jury decided not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed, black 18-year-old whose fatal shooting sparked sometimes violent protests. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Police confront protestors after rioting broke out following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. A grand jury today declined to indict officer Wison. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Police confront protestors after rioting broke out following the grand jury announcement in the Michael Brown case on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. A grand jury today declined to indict officer Wison. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: A police officer stands with a shotgun during a demonstration on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. A St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson, Missouri in August. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
A police car burns after being set on fire during clashes between police and protesters over decision in the shooting death 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on November 24, 2014. US President Barack Obama urged calm as violent protests broke out on the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury decided a white policeman will not face charges for killing a black teen. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: A police officer points a shotgun at protestors during a demonstration on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. A St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson, Missouri in August. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Protesters attempt to tip over a police car during a demonstration on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. A St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson, Missouri in August. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: A protestor stands in front of police vehicles with his hands up during a demonstration on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. A St. Louis County grand jury has decided to not indict Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown that sparked riots in Ferguson, Missouri in August. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Police detain a demonstrator amid tear gas during a demonstration to protest the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on November 24, 2014. US President Barack Obama urged calm on November 24 as violent protests broke out on the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury decided a white policeman will not face charges for killing a black teen. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Police points his rifle at demonstrators after a grand jury decided a white policeman will not face charges for killing a black teen on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. US President Barack Obama urged calm on November 24 as violent protests broke out on the streets of Ferguson after a grand jury decided a white policeman will not face charges for killing a black teen. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, MO - NOVEMBER 24: Demonstrators block an intersection during a protest as they wait for the grand jury announcement on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. Ferguson has been struggling to return to normal after Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer, on August 9. His death has sparked months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson. A grand jury is expected announce today if Wilson should be charged in the shooting. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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CHICAGO (AP) -- President Barack Obama sharply rebuked protesters Tuesday night for racially charged violence in Missouri, saying there was no excuse for burning buildings, torching cars and destroying other property after a grand jury declined to indict the white police officer who shot a black teenager.

As darkness fell in Ferguson, Missouri, where authorities hoped to avoid a second night of chaos in the streets, Obama said destructive actions are criminal acts and those who responsible should be prosecuted. "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.

The president spoke from Chicago, a trip planned to focus on immigration but overshadowed by the news the night before of the decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in 18-year-old Michael Brown's death.

Obama said he understood that many people were upset by that decision.

"The frustrations that we've seen are not about a particular incident. They have deep roots in many communities of color who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly," Obama said.

"There are productive ways of responding and expressing those frustrations, and there are destructive ways of responding," he said. "Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk. That's destructive and there's no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts and people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts."

Obama's call for calm a night earlier, just after the grand jury's decision was announced, was not heeded by some in the crowd in the St. Louis suburb who burned police cars, smashed and looted storefront windows and fired gunshots. In a real-time display of the limits of his influence, television networks showed Obama's remarks from the White House on a split screen with live video of the violence.

White House officials are still considering whether Obama should travel to Ferguson, weighing the importance of the moment with the risk of inflaming tensions. They say a trip won't come this week with the Thanksgiving holiday, giving them time to watch the response unfold and consider the president's options.

Obama: No Excuse for Destructive Ferguson Acts

Before he left the White House, the president was briefed by Attorney General Eric Holder on the latest developments and the Justice Department's long-running efforts to restore trust between minority communities and law enforcement. Obama said he instructed Holder to set up regional meetings on building trust.

"My message to those people who are constructively moving forward, trying to organize, mobilize and ask important questions about how we improve the situation, I want all those folks to know that their president is going to work with them," Obama said. "The frustrations people have generally are rooted in some hard truths that have to be addressed. Those who are prepared to work constructively, your president will work with you.

"So don't take the short-term, easy route and just engage in destructive behavior," Obama said. "Take the long-term, hard but lasting route of working with me and governors and state officials to bring about some real change."

Obama's efforts to strike a balanced middle ground in response to Ferguson stands in contrast to the deeply personal remarks he delivered last year after a Florida jury found another unarmed black teenager's killer not guilty. "Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago," Obama said then, going on to describe how he had experienced being followed in a department store or hearing drivers lock their doors when he walked by.

The cases have many differences, most notably that the bullets that took Brown's life came from a policeman's gun after a confrontation on the street. Martin's shooter was George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer.

Related Gallery: Celebs React to Ferguson

31 PHOTOS
Celebs React to Ferguson
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Obama: No excuse for violent, destructive protest
Feeling stuck all the way over here in Sydney seeing the news just now... Sending my prayers to Ferguson & praying for an equal America.
As a society how do we do better and stop things like this happening time after time!! I'm so sorry to these families. Violence is not the answer people. Retaliation isn't the solution as well. #PrayersUpToTheFamilies #WeHaveToDoBetter
rest easy
facts.
I'm heartbroken over the news of no indictment in Ferguson. Let's all pray for peace.
All my love is with the family of Michael Brown. I applaud their strength and courage, mourn their loss, pray they see justice and change.
Can't even begin to understand how this can happen.
The system that instills & protects white supremacy wins again. Humanity loses...No justice. I pray for Mike Brown & his family. So sad.
"The grand jury gave up their lives." Mike Brown's life was taken from 153 ft. I guess after 6 bullets he was still a threat. 6 more.
Just leaving yoga and hearing about the verdict of grand jury. Citizens please begin with prayer breathe be thoughtful. And safe
A murder isn't even going to trial. We have so much to fix in this country. BLACK LIVES MATTER. #FergusonDecision
So many things are backwards in this world. It breaks my heart.
" A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect " W.E.B. DuBois. http://t.co/1OCKbrJaTb
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Heavy heart, angry soul... we matter. ALL our lives matter. Hear us, feel us, respect us... ALL
Some things in life are sad, but not surprising. #FergusonDecision
The scary part is he believes what he is saying WOW When he rattled off how many times an UNARMED child was shot DID HE LISTEN 2 HIS WORDS?
I'm shocked & saddened by this decision. I'm so sorry Ferguson. And my heart breaks for #MichaelBrown and his family. #nojustice #myopinion
Watching in my hometown thinking of the Browns and hoping the community here respects their son's memory with peace. #PeaceInFerguson
Justice for people of color in America has never come in the form of a sprint, but always in the form of a marathon. #DearFerguson
BE PEACEFUL PEOPLE! Show our STRENGTH by respecting Michael Brown's parents wishes.
#ToRecap, violence is okay if you feel threatened. Provided you don't use violence when you feel threatened. #Ferguson
The people who say there is no excuse for violence seem to forget that it was violence that started all of this! #TeamDl
My Heart is still heavy after last night... But I come from a Praying family! & the Power of Prayer🙏 #Ferguson
#FergusonVerdict Prayers to #MikeBrownsfamily and my city. Unwarranted violence will help not help this situation. The Family wants peace.
His name is #MikeBrown and we should NEVER forget what happened to him 108 days ago in #Ferguson http://t.co/9uxwKwNn1w
Violence is NOT the answer. #Pray #Ferguson
My heart and sympathy goes out to Michael Browns family. They're words and actions are remarkable considering their deep sorrow and grief.
Sending prayers of peace in Ferguson...
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