When Obama visited Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday the conversation was far from light-hearted as the president addressed this week’s shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.
“What had been happening in Ferguson was oppressive and objectionable and was worthy of protest,” Obama said on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
“But there was no excuse for criminal acts. They need to be arrested … 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 marginalized,” he said.
As TheWrap previously reported, two police officers were shot just after midnight Thursday during a protest in response to the Ferguson Police chief’s resignation. A 32-year-old officer was shot in the face and a 41-year-old officer was hit in the shoulder, both were in serious condition but stable.
“Obviously we don’t yet know what happened,” said the president. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the officers and their families, and thankfully, as you said, they’re going to be OK.”
Obama also cited the recent Justice Department report on Ferguson, which he said found a “whole structure” that indicated “both racism and just a disregard for what law enforcement is supposed to do.”
Last week, two Ferguson officials resigned following the DOJ report that highlighted racist emails sent by police and court employees, which included one message depicting Obama as a chimpanzee and another mocking blacks through speech stereotypes. A third involved a man trying to get welfare for his dogs because they are “mixed in color.”
Tony Maglio contributed to this report.