Attorney General Eric Holder Says Justice Dept. Is Still Investigating Mike Brown’s Shooting
Last night, when the grand jury’s heartbreaking decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of Michael Brown was announced, many expressed that they had officially lost hope in America’s justice system. While in many ways it seems that our justice system has failed us, some have found solace in knowing that there is still a chance Wilson will be brought to justice. Shortly after the verdict was announced last night, United States Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed that the Justice Department is still looking into the shooting of the unarmed teen.
“While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” Holder said in a statement published to Justice.gov. “Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now. Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence. And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions.”
His statement continues:
“Michael Brown’s death was a tragedy. This incident has sparked a national conversation about the need to ensure confidence between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve. While constructive efforts are underway in Ferguson and communities nationwide, far more must be done to create enduring trust. The Department will continue to work with law enforcement, civil rights, faith and community leaders across the country to foster effective relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve and to improve fairness in the criminal justice system overall. In addition, the Department continues to investigate allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department.
Though there will be disagreement with the grand jury’s decision not to indict, this feeling should not lead to violence. Those who decide to participate in demonstrations should remember the wishes of Michael Brown’s parents, who have asked that remembrances of their son be conducted peacefully. It does not honor his memory to engage in violence or looting. In the coming days, it will likewise be important for local law enforcement authorities to respect the rights of demonstrators, and deescalate tensions by avoiding excessive displays—and uses—of force.”
We can only hope that something will become of this investigation.