Updated 4:34 p.m. ET, 8/14/2014
(CNN) – President Obama on Thursday urged calm and peace in Ferguson, Missouri, where clashes between protestors and police continue to escalate in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown.
The President condemned all parties involved in the recent unrest.
“There is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting, nor is there an excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protestors,” Obama said in his first on-camera statement since Brown was killed on Saturday.
“Now’s the time for healing, now’s the time for peace and calm on the streets of Ferguson,” Obama said continued.
A White House official said the President and his advisers have been monitoring the situation since Monday and Obama chose to speak out Thursday on the issue because the "situation seemed to be not getting better." As of now, there are no plans for the President to cut short his vacation at Martha's Vineyard, according to the official.
Obama's comments mark a less personal tone than his response to the shooting death of Trayvon Martin two years ago. Speaking in the Rose Garden in March 2012, Obama said “if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon.”
The comments were striking to many at the time–seen as a candid moment from a president known for his measured responses. Many comparisons have been drawn between the shooting of Brown and the shooting of Martin, both unarmed, African-American teenagers.
With a few exceptions, Obama has typically been reluctant to wade into racial issues.
In 2009 he got some backlash after he criticized the arrest of African-American Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, who was arrested outside of his home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Obama said that the local police “acted stupidly.”
The remarks led to a fury of controversy, culminating in a beer summit at the White House between Gates and the arresting officer James Crowley.
Several politicians addressed the situation in Ferguson on Thursday, including Rand Paul, who penned an op-ed for TIME, “We Must Demilitarize the Police.”