UPDATE: President Barack Obama commented on the violence in Ferguson on Thursday on-camera for the first time, saying, "There is never an excuse for violence against police or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism and looting. There's also no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights."
He also said he has "already tasked the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the death of Michael Brown."
The fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown by a cop in Ferguson, Mo., and clashes between police and protestors that followed the killing have stirred emotions worldwide and reignited public debate about police behavior and race relations.
On Twitter, reactions have been posted by celebrities such as John Legend, who cited racism, and Moby, who made a reference to Nazi Germany.
Wednesday marked the fourth night of racially charged clashes between police and demonstrators protesting the killing of Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old who was shot dead by an officer on Saturday in the largely African-American neighborhood, located near St. Louis. Authorities have said he had assaulted the officer, whose name they have not released. A witness disputes this, according to The New York Times.
"This is about racism. I hate to break it to you, my friend," Legend tweeted about the situation, in response to a Twitter user.
Authorities have used controversial tactics such as tear gas to try to disperse the protests, while some participants have also reacted violently, throwing Molotov cocktails at officers. The Ferguson police department issued a statement on Tuesday calling on demonstrators to assemble "only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner." Meanwhile, the group has also come under fire from critics over recent arrests of two journalists covering the violence. They have not been charged.
"Sows fear and heightens the tension when people see weapons of war pointed at them," Legend tweeted, adding that he is happy that "white people are reporting on and protesting against" what he dubbed "racist police action."
Check out more responses from celebrities to the unrest in Ferguson below.
nothing makes me more ashamed of america than the abuse of power. our country is supposed to be ruled by laws, not the gestapo. #Ferguson? moby (@thelittleidiot) August 14, 2014
What's really scary is there are some people angrier about the mistreatment of animals than what happened in Ferguson, MO.? terrycrews (@terrycrews) August 14, 2014
What's happening in #Ferguson is devastating. Wow.? kerry washington (@kerrywashington) August 14, 2014
Sending love and support to the citizens of Ferguson, who are in pain and asking for change.? Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) August 14, 2014
Tear gas in Ferguson last night??? When does this end?? Andy Cohen (@Andy) August 14, 2014
Police in #Ferguson - you are not supposed to point loaded weapons at unarmed citizens who are protesting peacefully? mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 14, 2014
Thinking of the people of Ferguson, MO tonight & sending love. I hope they all remain safe, & that they're not disturbed in their mission.? Martha Plimpton (@MarthaPlimpton) August 14, 2014