President Barack Obama this afternoon addressed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown and subsequent protests in Ferguson, Mo.

Obama said that the Justice Department has opened an independent, federal, civil rights investigation into Brown’s death. He said Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet with federal authorities for updates on their progress, as well as with local leaders.

While a vast majority are peacefully protesting, Obama said it’s clear that a small minority of individuals are not.

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“While I understand the passions and anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines rather than advances justice.”

Obama said that our constitutional rights to speak freely, assemble and report must be safeguarded. He said there is no excuse for excessive force by police.

“Ours is a nation of laws for the citizens who live under them and for the citizens who enforce them,” he said.

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“Let’s seek to heal rather than to wound each other. As Americans, we’ve got to use this moment to seek out our humanity that’s been laid bare by this moment,” he said.

Watch his remarks above.