Presidents get into helicopters at the drop of a hat to tour disaster areas if such a trip can get them 2 minutes of empathy-demonstration on the nightly news broadcast. Their presence is generally a hindrance to progress as first-responders have to drop everything to plan for the visit.
For once, in St. Louis, a Presidential visit might actually do some good and Obama sits in Martha's Vineyard. I never thought of him this way, but for much of the African-American community, Obama represents a unique, special, almost mythical figure in whom a lot of hopes and dreams were invested. An Obama visit urging peace combined with a promise from him that a fair and complete investigation would be undertaken would, IMO, bring the rioting to a halt. If I were he I would go out there as the true friend of the African-American community that many perceive him to be and say, "the national has heard you and shares your frustration. Change can happen. But further violence in the streets is only going to undermine your position and give the advocates of militarized policing further, ah, ammunition. It is reasonable for a President to defer to local and state authorities -- in fact it would be disastrous for the President to make a habit of sticking his nose in local criminal cases -- but he may be the only person with the credibility with local residents to make this end.
Since I last posted on this, there have been two new pieces of information. One, Michael Brown apparently committed petty theft a few minutes before he was picked up, though the officers that picked him up did not know this. And two, an autopsy reports that the unarmed Brown was shot at least 6 times. It is hard to imagine any story that adequately explains shooting an unarmed man** who was not known to have committed a crime 6 freaking times. And since the police have still not released any narrative of what happened from their point of view (they are still working with Michael Bay's screenwriters to see if they can come up with something), all we can do is imagine.
**Update 8/18: I am willing to believe I am being unfair here. I am simply exhausted by the lack of accountability and the pass we give to officers involved in shootings. However, just because many such shootings are unjustified and subject to cover-ups does not by any means they all are. The question from all of this is how do we start holding the police accountable without having to have riots.