WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says he joins with Michael Brown’s family in urging peaceful protests after a grand jury decided not to indict the Ferguson police officer who shot and killed the unarmed, black 18-year-old.

Obama made the comments Monday moments after official word of the grand jury’s decision.

The president said first and foremost the nation is built on the rule of law. He said despite anger and intense disagreement on either side, Americans need to accept the decision that the grand jury made.

The Justice Department is also conducting an investigation into possible civil rights violations that could result in federal charges.