EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama is being briefed on the situation in a St. Louis suburb where police used tear gas and smoke bombs to repel protesters.

The protests in Ferguson, Missouri, have been sparked by the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer. The officer is white and 18-year-old Michael Brown was black.

The White House says Obama was briefed late Wednesday night by Attorney General Eric Holder and senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Obama is vacationing on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, as are Holder and Jarrett.

The White House says Obama has another briefing scheduled for Thursday morning.

Earlier in the week, the president issued a statement saying that Brown’s death is stirring “strong passions,” and he appealed for reflection.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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