President Barack Obama should not have attended the memorial service on Monday for shooting victim Michael Brown, because it could "bias the case" surrounding his death, Dr. Lester Spence, Associate Professor of political science at Johns Hopkins University, told Newsmax TV.
A St. Louis County grand jury is hearing testimony regarding Brown's death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson. His death sparked protests and violence as debate raged over whether Wilson used deadly force in self defense.
"I can understand those who say he should be there. But, for me, that would actually bias the case," Spence told "America's Forum" on Monday. "What we need is for that case to be as fair as possible."
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Obama could "prejudice the jury pool" if he had attended the service, Spence said, adding that it was his opinion that "Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown."
Obama's greatest abilities to aid the African-American community lay in his "power of the executive order and the power of the bully the pulpit, the power of presidential rhetoric," Spence explained. Through rhetoric, he said the president could make a "symmetrical comparison between violence and police violence."
Through executive order, Spence said Obama could "begin to deal with these issues that continuously raise themselves up," although it could mean getting involved in local issues.
"We've got, at least in a couple of occasions, when the president has actually tried to intervene in state government policies. We know he has the opportunity to, it's just about whether he wants to be audacious enough to do so," he said.
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