LONG BRANCH, N.J. (CBS St. Louis/AP) — Republican Gov. Chris Christie said it’s too soon to draw conclusions about the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent unrest there and criticized other politicians who have weighed in.
Christie was asked at a town hall event Tuesday whether the protests in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, gave him pause about the militarization of police in New Jersey.
Christie, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, cautioned against drawing conclusions or generalizations about the Aug. 9 shooting of the black 18-year-old by a white police officer or what has happened in the days since until all the facts are known.
“None of us quite know yet exactly what happened in Ferguson,” he said. “I’ve been urging people to not pre-judge anything here.”
Christie, a former prosecutor, said he always hated when politicians would weigh in on his cases and criticized those who have in this case.
Politicians and public figures “who jump out now and start saying a lot of things, they’re just trying to get their name in the newspaper,” he said.
He also accused news anchors of making a “spectacle” out of the situation in Ferguson, where police officers in riot gear have lined the streets as violence erupts nightly.
Christie went on to praise the nation’s justice system as the best in the world and said the overwhelming majority of police officers in the country are hardworking people who put their lives on the line every day.
He also urged prayers for Brown’s parents and said that, as a parent, losing a child would be unthinkable, regardless of the circumstances.
“The sorrow and pain that these parents must feel right now is indescribable,” he said.
The Rev. Al Sharpton had criticized Christie for his silence on the shooting.
Christie made the same case against generalizations last week.
Nearly 50 protesters were arrested late Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning.
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