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Obama says there's no excuse for criminal acts at Ferguson

Obama says theres no excuse for criminal acts at Ferguson

Washington: US President Barack Obama has said there was "no excuse for criminal acts" at Ferguson, where two policemen were wounded in a shooting Wednesday night.

"Whoever fired those shots...they're criminals, they need to be arrested," Obama said during an interview on the ABC programme "Jimmy Kimmel Live" on Thursday.

"And then what we need to do is make sure that like-minded, good-spirited people on both sides -- law enforcement, who have a terrifically tough job, and people who understandably don't want to be stopped and harassed just because of their race -- that they are able to work together to come up with some good answers," he said.

Obama reacted with those words after the shooting that left two police officers wounded in St. Louis County, where Ferguson is located, during a street protest by dozens of people in front of the city's police department.

"What we have to make sure of is that the folks who disregard and disrespect the other side, people who resort to violence, that they're marginalised," the president said.

The Ferguson shooting came after the resignation that same day of the local chief of police, Thomas Jackson, and two other high municipal officials as a result of the justice department's report that, Obama noted, it had found a "whole structure" that indicated "both racism and just a disregard for what law enforcement is supposed to do".

Ferguson is where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot dead by a white police officer last August in an incident that sparked a wave of disturbances all across the country.

Jackson's resignation was one of the chief demands of the Ferguson protests after Brown was killed.

A report by the justice department published last week questioned the practices both of police and justice authorities in Ferguson.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said the Department of Justice will use its authority to reform the Ferguson police department, going so far as to dismantle it entirely if that should prove necessary.

In its report, the justice department accused the Ferguson police of systematically violating the civil rights of the town's black residents, with arrests for no apparent reason and the excessive use of force, above all against that community.

The federal investigation revealed that over the past two years, African-American citizens of the city, which amounts to 67 percent of the population, were the object of 85 percent of traffic stops, 93 percent of arrests and 88 percent of cases in which police used force.

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