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Political leaders offer sympathy, call for calm in wake of Ferguson shooting

Political leaders offer sympathy, call for calm in wake of Ferguson shooting

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ST. LOUIS   •   In statements today via email and Twitter on the situation in Ferguson, area politicians are offering expressions of sympathy for shooting victim Michael Brown and calling for calm from the public.

There is apparent bipartisan consensus on the need for a federal investigation, with backers including Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and Democratic U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay.

• U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, in a joint letter with U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., and U.S. Rep. Marsha Fudge, D-Ohio: "We ask the Department of Justice to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown, looking at both the facts of the specific incident as well as the potential for any pattern or practice of police misconduct by the Ferguson Police Department. ... The St. Louis County Police Department may not be the most objective or credible body to investigate civil rights matters involving law enforcement given evidence of racial profiling by that department in the recent past. ... Only the federal government has the resources, the experience, and the full independence to give this case the close scrutiny that the citizens of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area deserve.

• Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon: " ... It is vital that the facts about this case are gathered in a thorough, transparent and impartial manner, in which the public has complete confidence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event, and I ask St. Louis County residents to exercise patience and respect for their neighbors as federal authorities work to get to the bottom of what happened through this comprehensive, independent review.”

• U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.: “I join all Missourians in remembering the family of Michael Brown and the Ferguson community as they grieve the tragic loss of this young man. His recent high school graduation should have been a beginning of better things. Everyone deserves a transparent understanding of what happened here. I am fully supportive of County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar calling for DOJ and the FBI to take a careful, open review of the events that led to this tragedy for everyone involved.”

• U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.: “As a mother, I grieve for this child and his family. I pray that the wonderful, hardworking, and God-loving people of Ferguson will find peace and patience as we wait for the results of what will be numerous and thorough investigations of what happened. I, like so many other Missourians, will not be satisfied until we have a complete and transparent understanding of all the facts and circumstances that led to this young man’s death.”

• The Missouri Legislative Black Caucus: "[We extend] our sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Michael Brown who was killed by a Ferguson Police officer over the weekend. This is a sad day in the State of Missouri and everyone is affected by this incident. [We are] calling for an expedient, thorough and transparent investigation into this matter."

• U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Ballwin: “As a mother of three children, I cannot even imagine the pain of losing a child. My thoughts and prayers go out to Michael Brown’s family and to the people of Ferguson as they deal with this tragic loss. As we search for answers together, we must remain calm and compassionate while truth and justice are served.”

• State Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City: “A young life was lost this weekend. We do not know all of the details, except that this young man does not have the chance to explain himself . . . The police officer involved in the shooting will have a chance to explain himself. I only wish Michael Brown had that chance. Our prayers go out to the family of Michael Brown.”

• State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis (via Twitter): “Words can not express the pain that I'm feeling tonight. Self-destructive behavior is a major setback for progress. . . . Did I just hear him say administrative leave with pay? That killer should be fired and indicted for murder."

• St. Louis County Commission Steve Stenger (via Twitter): "This young man's death is a tragedy. . . . Our entire community awaits the results of an independent, expeditious and transparent investigation. Now is the time for St. Louis County to show its grace, strength and compassion during this difficult time."

• Ex-Florissant mayor and former police officer Robert Lowery: “I understand they're upset about this boy being shot, and I sympathize with this family. But by the same token, everyone should wait until they have results from the investigation. . . . I feel very bad about the policeman involved in this. He's going to be thinking he caused a lot of this, when in fact he did not. You always second guess yourself, and he's probably second-guessing himself.”

• State Rep. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia (via Twitter): "Many questions that need answered in the days and weeks to come.”

• State Rep. Elijah Haahr, R-Springfield (via Twitter): "Praying for the family and those involved and hoping it isn't made worse by violence tonight.”

—David Hunn and Alex Stuckey of the Post-Dispatch staff contributed to this report.

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