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Obama heartbroken over St. Louis teen's death, doesn't condemn rioters

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Michelle Obama,Missouri

President Obama said that he and the first lady were saddened by the “heartbreaking” shooting death of St. Louis black teen Michael Brown, but he didn’t condemn angry rioters in and around the north St. Louis County town of Ferguson, where the shooting occurred last weekend.

According to reports, Michael Brown, 18, was shot by police. He was not armed.

His death has prompted Attorney General Eric Holder to announce a full probe of the affair. Meanwhile, locals have rioted, ruining businesses in the blue-collar town near the airport. There have been at least 30 arrests.

Obama’s statement:

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed.

I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding.

We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.