Courts & Crime

Attorney General Holder’s message to Ferguson

A law enforcement officer watches Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, as tear gas is fired to disperse a crowd protesting the shooting of teenager Michael Brown last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo.  (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A law enforcement officer watches Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, as tear gas is fired to disperse a crowd protesting the shooting of teenager Michael Brown last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) ASSOCIATED PRESS

Attorney General Eric Holder is delivering a message to Ferguson, Mo., today, in person and through the media.

In an op-ed piece posted by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Holder declared the residents of the embattled city “can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn — in a fair and thorough manner — exactly what happened” in the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

“We understand the need for an independent investigation, and we hope that the independence and thoroughness of our investigation will bring some measure of calm to the tensions in Ferguson,” Holder wrote. “In order to begin the healing process, however, we must first see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson.”

“We will work with the police, civil rights leaders, and members of the public to ensure that this tragedy can give rise to new understanding — and robust action — aimed at bridging persistent gaps between law enforcement officials and the communities we serve,” Holder added.

Holder said he 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 the case.

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