AG Eric Holder tells Missouri cops to back off a bit

This just in from U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who met earlier today with President Obama to discuss the latest developments in Ferguson, Missouri:

Eric Holder“This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

“For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

“By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

“At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

“Department officials from the Community Relations Service are also on the ground in Missouri to help convene law enforcement officials and civic and faith leaders to plot out steps to reduce tensions in the community. The latest such meeting was convened in Ferguson as recently as this morning. Over time, these conversations should consider the role that increased diversity in law enforcement can play in helping to build trust within communities.

“All the while, the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting incident itself continues, in parallel with the local investigation into state law violations. Our investigators from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses on the scene at the time of the shooting incident on Saturday. Our review will take time to conduct, but it will be thorough and fair.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Eric Holder is probably the worst AG in history.

    He should STFU and investigate the crimes of the Obama administration and in particular his own DOJ.

    I would rather have legal advice from my cat.

  • Elwood

    I wonder what it is that Holder expects the cops to do?

    Stand idly by while the natives burn, loot, throw Molotov cocktails and shoot at them?

  • JohnW

    You must have skipped the first two paragraphs of his statement.

  • Elwood
  • Elwood

    Just re-read them.

    Pretty weak.

  • JohnW

    In comparison to such great ones as Harry Daugherty under Harding, the late ex-con John Mitchell, Ed Meese, and Alberto Gonzalez?

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Don’t leave out RFK, who wiretapped civil rights leaders to “discredit” malicious stories spread by J. Edgar Hoover

  • Elwood

    Strong contenders all, but my money’s still on Holder.

    I believe history will be unkind to him.

  • JohnW

    That notwithstanding, I consider RFK to be the best AG in my lifetime. I think the civil rights leaders still alive would concur.

    I admire the fact that he evolved from the ruthless alumnus of Joe McCarthy’s staff. Went after Hoffa and organized crime with appropriately ruthless vengeance and nudged his brother into action on civil rights.

    In his other role as advisor to JFK, he played a huge role in the Cuban Missile Crisis, in a good way. He’s one of my heroes because of his huge capacity to grow and rise to the occasion during his time both as AG and in the Senate.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Another crisis manufactured by social media, Left journos

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Ramsay Clark served briefly under LBJ. J Edgar disliked Clark, calling him the worst AG ever, and NYT. ‘s Tom Wicker noted Hoover “has known most of them since Edmund Randolph.” Clark later joined the Wmn Kunstler school of law

  • Elwood

    Isn’t it amazing how victims of “police brutality” are portrayed as saints on earth?

    And then the truth comes out.

  • Elwood


    Jesse Jackson has come bobbing up to the surface in Ferguson, MO like the **** in the punch bowl that he is.

    What’s next?

    Jesse and Al Sharpton in a steel cage death match to determine who is the biggest race faker ****.

  • Elwood

    Does anyone else find it ironic that after one night of singing Kumbaya with the black state police captain in Ferguson, MO rioting, burning and looting have broken out again and now the state police are in combat gear with heavy weapons and armored vehicles?

    Kumbaya, doo wah, Kumbaya!

  • JohnW

    Your point?

  • Elwood

    If you don’t understand the irony John, I can’t explain it to you.

    And Kumbaya to you!

  • Elwood

    Pray for the people of Ferguson, MO.

    Jesse and Al leading dueling demonstrations.

    Better they should have Ebola.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Only in America, folks, can members of the victim class rise to high office, even the White House, and still get shot by our heavily armed, insensitive police.

  • JohnW

    Sounds like something Rush Limbaugh would say!

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Thanks for the compliment!

  • Elwood

    And now the national guard has been called in with armored vehicles, heavy weapons and battle gear. I guess Kumbaya didn’t work so well.

    But don’t worry. Quicker than you can say “They’re all a bunch of racists.” the Obama administration will take over the investigation and the prosecution (persecution?) of the white police officer.

    Got to play to your base, you know.

  • Elwood

    Obama has sent Holder to Ferguson.

    What a surprise! Just as I predicted.

    That’ll make everything all better I’m sure.

  • JohnW

    Ferguson seems much like the Oscar Grant situation, where a lot of troublemakers from outside the community have poured in to do the looting and rioting. However, in the Oscar Grant case, I think the BART cop got railroaded. It’s too soon to tell, but 6 bullets into the head and chest of an unarmed person suggests that the protesters may have something to protest about.

  • Elwood

    BREAKING: New Evidence Supports Darren Wilson’s Account That He was Attacked by Michael Brown


  • JohnW

    Tea Party News Network? Hilarious!

    Keeping an open mind on this. For the sake of the cop, I hope his story holds up. They shouldn’t have let themselves be pressured in to releasing his name in the middle of all this. That said, 6 shots? The linked story from the TPNN may turn out to be accurate. I won’t reject it just because it is from them. But I won’t accept it as truth until we hear it from other sources that don’t have a vested interest in spin versus another.

  • RRSenileColumnist

    Brown, Martin and our own Oscar Grant 3 are solely known by the manner of their death. They became famous when they died. They are not martyrs, they contributed nothing to the larger society in which they were born. They did not make this world a better place while they lived. They are mourned by loved ones and friends. Had they been older, it’s possible they would not have become famous. Are unarmed Whites ever killed by police action? Yes. Do their deaths spark massive disorder? Almost never. Are the police always right? No. Are they human? Yes.

  • Elwood

    Police officers are trained to keep firing until the target is no longer a threat, or until they run out of ammo.

    Impartial witnesses have stated that Brown was advancing on the cop when he was shot. The cop was seriously injured by someone. The 6-4 300 lb. Brown is a likely suspect.

    Brown’s friends have stated that the cop deliberately hit Brown with the car door and then tried to drag him into the car.

    Other witnesses have stated that Brown entered the car, struck the cop and tried to take his weapon.

    Which story seems more plausible to you?

  • JohnW

    I’m not judging one way or the other. Not enough info. And I definitely don’t have an anti-cop bias. Just the opposite if anything. I’ll wait for the investigation

  • Elwood

    The All African-American Obama administration has sent AG Holder to Ferguson, MO to head up the lynch mob.

    Members of the administration have been assuring “black leaders” that justice will be done.

    Translation: “We gonna hang that honky cop!”

  • JohnW

    All African-American Obama administration.

    As Reagan said in his debate with Mondale, “There you go again.”

    African-Americans in cabinet or cabinet rank positions:

    Attorney General, Secretary of Homeland Security and National Security Adviser

    Positions not held by “one of them:”

    Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Treasury, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of Commerce, Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Education, Secretary of the VA, Chief of Staff, Chairman of Council of Economic Advisers, Director-Office of Management & Budget, United Nations Ambassador, United States Trade Representative and Director-Small Business Administration.

  • Elwood

    I guess I should have said Obama’s inner circle which consists of Valerie Jarrett, Holder, Susan Rice and Bo the dog.

    They’re all in favor of hanging the honky cop.

  • JohnW

    I’ll give you Valerie Jarrett. And maybe fellow basketball player, Susan Rice. But I wouldn’t agree that Holder is any more part of the “inner, inner” than other cabinet members.

    If any of the other cabinet members qualify for that, it would be fellow Chicagoan and basketball player, Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, who generally gets as much if not more respect on the Republican side. Holder came from the Clinton camp. You’ll recall his role in a certain controversial pardon at the end of Clinton’s term.

    Not buying your comment that they are out to screw “the honky cop.” Obama was taking heat from the left for not making an appearance in Ferguson, so he sent Holder.

  • Elwood

    Look! Over Al Sharpton’s shoulder! It’s Idi Amin!


    Al sure is a busy boy! Seems like only yesterday he was in Ferguson.

  • JohnW

    Sharpton is a caricature. He always reminds me of a character in Tom Wolfe’s novel (and Tom Hanks movie), Bonfire of the Vanities. However, he was sharp indeed in the 2004 Democratic primary debates.