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Missouri governor briefs Obama on Ferguson

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Governor Jay Nixon.

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ The White House on Friday emphasized its commitment to defusing continued tensions over the Ferguson police shooting.

The White House said President Barack Obama spoke Friday with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Justice Department officials who stepped in after Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white, shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black.

In St. Louis, the department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services met with top commanders from Ferguson, the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County and the Missouri Highway Patrol at a two-day session that concluded Friday. It focused on how unintentional bias affects police work.

The voluntary reform effort is separate from a federal civil rights investigation into the Ferguson police shooting and a broader federal inquiry into the department’s policing methods.