President Obama addressed the violent protests that have broken out in recent days in Ferguson, Missouri, following the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a police officer.

Speaking from his vacation spot, Martha's Vineyard, Obama said there is no excuse for excessive force by police. He said many Americans are "deeply disturbed" by what they've seen happening near St. Louis and called for everyone to "step back" and think about how to move forward.

Obama said he has tasked the Department of Justice and FBI to independently investigate the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

"I made clear to the attorney general [Eric Holder] that we should do what is necessary to determine exactly what happened and make sure that justice is done," he said.

Obama called for the local police to be open and transparent in their investigation of the shooting, adding there is "never an excuse for violence against police."

He also criticized the arrests of journalists in Ferguson, saying police should not be arresting or bullying reporters who are "just trying to do their jobs."

"I know emotions are raw right now in Ferguson and there are certainly passionate differences about what has happened. But let's remember that we're all part of one American family, we are united in common values and that includes the belief in equality under the law, respect for public order and the right to peaceful public protests," said Obama.

Watch the president's remarks above.