News / USA

Holder Vows Fair, Thorough Probe in Ferguson Shooting Case

Holder Vows Fair, Thorough Probe in Ferguson Shooting Casei
X
Jim Malone
August 21, 2014 6:57 PM
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is promising a fair and thorough federal investigation into the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Holder spoke about his visit to Ferguson in unusually personal terms to reporters upon his return to Washington, and VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is promising a fair and thorough federal investigation into the shooting death of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Holder spoke about his visit to Ferguson in unusually personal terms to reporters upon his return to Washington.

A day after his visit to Ferguson, Holder sought to assure community leaders and citizens that the Justice Department takes its role in the case seriously.

“Our investigation will be fair, it will be thorough and it will be independent,” he said.

During his visit, Holder met with law enforcement, community leaders and the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer after a confrontation in a street of the St. Louis suburb, in the central U.S.  Witnesses have given different accounts as to what led to the shooting.

Takeaway lesson

During his Washington news conference, Holder was asked about the most important thing he learned from meeting with community leaders and citizens in Ferguson.

“A desire to be seen as equals and a real desire to have healing. There is a real fracture out there now that I think people are really trying to work their way through and as I indicated to them, I think out of this tragedy comes a great opportunity for reforming that community,” he said.

Ferguson has been calmer in recent days and the involvement of the federal government may be helping, according to Howard University expert Greg Carr.

“They are sending a message, a very strong message that they will be watching, that they will be side-by-side with local government and that this case must be handled with the greatest care and concern for objectivity, fairness and justice,” he said.

Holder was sent to Ferguson by President Barack Obama with the hope of reassuring the local community. Obama was elected as the country’s first African-American president in 2008, and Holder became the nation’s first African-American attorney general in 2009.

In his meeting with community leaders, Holder recalled some of his own encounters with police as a young man and the anger and humiliation he sometimes felt.

Healing process begins

Analyst and author Sam Fulwood of the Center for American Progress said both Holder and Obama can have an impact in the wake of Ferguson. He also said, however, the healing process will take time.

“I think it is important that they speak out and that they do it because it moves us further along the road than we would be if they didn’t," he said. "But I think there is a totally unrealistic expectation that when the president says something, people automatically salute and things change.”

The shooting incident in Ferguson and its violent aftermath has also drawn fresh attention to longstanding, deeper issues of race and class differences in the U.S., said Georgetown Law Professor Anthony Cook.

“We live in separate worlds. Still, a majority of black and brown kids go to schools that are majority black and brown," he said. "When you look at residential areas, even some black middle-class neighborhoods, those neighborhoods continue to be predominantly minority.”

In the meantime, the international spotlight remains on Ferguson as the latest test of the country’s ability to come to grips with issues of race and violence. Michael Brown’s funeral is set for Monday in St. Louis.

  • A man sells T-shirts along the roadside in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • National Guard troops stand guard inside a shopping center parking lot in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • People gather outside the White House as part of a "National Day of Rage" protest against the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Protesters march near the spot where Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 21, 2014.
  • Protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Missouri., Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Demonstrators shout "Hands up, don't shoot," in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Police officers patrol a street while demonstrators take part in a march in support of the protests against the killing of Michael Brown, New York City, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • A woman holds a sign during a protest against the shooting of Michael Brown. Oakland, California, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Several hundred demonstrators march through Oakland, California during a protest against the shooting of Michael Brown, Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder greets Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant in Florissant, Missouri Aug. 20, 2014.
  • Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bradley J. Rayford, 22, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 20, 2014.

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 22, 2014 12:07 PM
The Ferguson shooting incident involving the black teen Michael Brown is a minor incident, but the racial color that has taken, that' enormous. Anyway, our president as well as the Justice Dept. chief have wielded a fair, thorough responsibility. And, certainly it's going to take place very soon. A lot of credits go to the community leaders of Ferguson who have endeavored to calm our people down. The shooting incident of Michael Brown teaches a great lesson to America - the tinge of raciality can raise its ugly, monstrous heads and spread its evil tentacles to grapple the entire country. For that, entire America should remain cautious ahead, people of all walks........ Till todate, we do necessiate a complete national harmony.


by: Lestino from: Florida
August 22, 2014 10:09 AM
The cop deserves a medal in my book, He's like Superman. Risking his life every day in Ferguson to uphold Truth, Justice and the American Way against the Obama supporters who would bring depravity and chaos.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Faminei
X
Daniel Schearf
November 23, 2014 4:32 PM
During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video Law Enforcement, Activists in Ferguson Agree to Keep Peace

Authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, say they have agreed with protest leaders to maintain peace when a grand jury reaches its decision on whether to indict a white police officer in the shooting death of a black teenager. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Louis, has been the scene of intermittent violence since the August 9 shooting intensified long-simmering antagonism between the police and the African-American community. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid