By Justin Sink - 08/18/14 09:18 AM EDT
Attorney General Eric Holder will brief President Obama Monday on possible actions the federal government can take in Ferguson, Mo., after another night of clashes prompted Gov. Jay Nixon (D-Mo.) to call in the National Guard.
"The president has asked the attorney general to come in tomorrow to brief him on the state of the investigation on the ground,” said senior presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett in an interview with American Urban Radio Monday.
Jarrett said Holder would also discuss “any further actions that the federal government could play to help reduce the violence down to zero and make sure the public understands completely the scope of the investigation and what's going on on the ground.”
The president and Holder are scheduled to meet at 1:15 p.m. in the Oval Office, following the worst night yet in the St. Louis suburb.
Demonstrators ignored a mandatory curfew imposed by Nixon, and reporters on the ground observed the sounds of gunfire. Police responded with tear gas and smoke bombs.
Jarrett said that the president's "primary objective" was quelling the violence that has gripped the city for more than a week since the police killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.
"I think our immediate goal is to make sure the residents of Ferguson are safe, that the looting stops, that the vandalism stops, that the people in the community have confidence that justice will be done," Jarrett said. "And that's the president's primary objective right now."
The president is particularly concerned about children in Ferguson, according to Jarrett. Four schools districts in the area have delayed the start of classes because of the unrest.
"Making sure that all the residents of Ferguson are safe, particularly the young people, are paramount in the president's mind," Jarrett said.
"He looks at this — I just spoke with him this morning, his concern was thinking about it as the perspective of a parent,” she continued. “You want to know when you send your kids to school, when they leave your home, they're going to be safe."
Asked if there was concern the Ferguson situation would require a broader federal response, Jarrett said the White House would evaluate "next steps" after calming the situation in Ferguson.
"Let's get through the next few days and make sure that happens in a responsible way, and then the days and weeks ahead will determine the next steps," Jarrett said.
Over the weekend, Holder announced the federal government would perform its own autopsy of Brown at the request of his family.
The Justice Department said last week that FBI agents and attorneys from the department's Civil Rights Division had interviewed witnesses on the scene of the shooting, and would canvass the neighborhood to discuss the incident with neighbors. Federal officials are also working with local and state police in an effort to deescalate the situation.
Obama last spoke publicly about the situation on Thursday, calling for "peace and calm on the streets" and a "transparent investigation" into the shooting.