Eric Holder Has A Message For The People Of Ferguson
While Attorney General Eric Holder’s message in the St. Louis Dispatch is relatively good, there is something missing
Since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Michael Brown, the nation and the world have witnessed the unrest that has gripped Ferguson, Mo. At the core of these demonstrations is a demand for answers about the circumstances of this young man’s death and a broader concern about the state of our criminal justice system.
At a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn – in a fair and thorough manner – exactly what happened.
Today, I will be in Ferguson to be briefed on the federal civil rights investigation that I have closely monitored since I launched it more than one week ago. I will meet personally with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to receive detailed briefings on the status of this case.
What about meeting with the police? How about finding out their side of the story? Shouldn’t the police be included in all this?
The full resources of the Department of Justice have been committed to the investigation into Michael Brown’s death. This inquiry will take time to complete, but we have already taken significant steps. Approximately 40 FBI agents and some of the Civil Rights Division’s most experienced prosecutors have been deployed to lead this process, with the assistance of the United States Attorney in St. Louis. Hundreds of people have already been interviewed in connection with this matter. On Monday, at my direction, a team of federal medical examiners conducted an independent autopsy.
One has to wonder at the propriety, and seeming violation of state sovereignty, of the Department of Justice swooping in on what is, essentially, a local issue. Were they invited? Or did they simply decide to make it their business? Don’t misunderstand this as a only criticism of Holder, as this is not the first time the DOJ has jumped in over issues that should be handled at the State level or lower.
The Justice Department will defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate and for the media to cover a story that must be told. But violence cannot be condoned. I urge the citizens of Ferguson who have been peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions and sow discord.
Interesting. Where is AG Holder in defending the rights of Tea Party groups which were illegally targeted by the Internal Revenue Service? Does he have any investigations into criminal conduct of IRS officials? How about those who are being stonewalled as the IRS has destroyed multiple hard drives?
Anyhow, Holder does do a good job in calling for peace, and for the community and police to work together. Kudos for that.
Meanwhile, Gov Jay Nixon (D) has gone off the reservation
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon made his boldest statement in the shooting death of an unarmed black man on Tuesday, saying a “vigorous prosecution must now be pursued.”
In the statement, Nixon said,”The democratically elected St. Louis County prosecutor and the Attorney General of the United States, each have a job to do. Their obligation to achieve justice in the shooting death of Michael Brown must be carried out thoroughly, promptly, and correctly; and I call upon them to meet those expectations.”
This could potentially taint any investigation, grand jury proceeding, and, if it comes to it, criminal court trial.