As Pres. Obama called for calm, angry protestors tried to flip a police cruiser in Ferguson, MO.
The president delivered a brief statement from the press briefing room tonight following the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s announcement that police officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the shooting death of Michael Brown.
“There is inevitably going to be some negative reaction and it will make for good TV,” said the president as cable news double boxes showed the damage already being done. “But what we want to do is to make sure that we’re also focusing on those who can offer the kind of real progress that we know is possible.”
“You have a small number of knuckle heads causing the problems,” CNN’s Van Jones explained, just before he and CNN anchors Chris Cuomo and Don Lemon were overcome by tear gas fumes.
In his remarks about the grand jury’s decision, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said the media hasn’t helped the situation. “The most significant challenge encountered in this investigation has been the 24-hour news cycle and its insatiable appetite for something, for anything to talk about. Following closely behind were the nonstop rumors on social media,” said McCulloch.
Less than an hour after the president’s remarks, that police cruiser was on fire. Police told CNN correspondent Jason Carroll and his crew to leave the scene as live rounds in the cruiser started going off.
Update: 10:57pmET: FNC correspondent Steve Harrigan’s camera was knocked to the ground.
Update: 11:29pmET: A protestor approached the live position of Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo and shouted “Fuck CNN.” “As we said at the top of this broadcast, we don’t know what’s going to happen. So we apologize for that,” Lemon said.
Update: 11:34pmET: MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and his guest Pastor Michael McBride leave their location as the sounds of gunfire are heard nearby. “That’s gunfire…. Alright…. We’re being told to fall back.”