The promise of an ongoing federal investigation is unlikely to ease tensions in Ferguson in the meantime
It is an uphill battle to prove Darren Wilson violated civil rights, but it’s the last bit of hope that the disheartened community of Ferguson has for justice.
Attorney General Eric Holder announced in a press conference Tuesday that they were still continuing two separate investigations and are several months from completion. One case is against the Ferguson Police Department, the other is against Darren Wilson for violating the civil rights of Michael Brown. The bad news for the civil right’s case is that Darren Wilson being cleared of any wrong-doing by the St. Louis County Grand Jury makes a federal case significantly harder to prove that Wilson knowingly violated Mike Brown’s rights when he pulled the trigger.
Eric Holder said:
[The investigations] will continue to be thorough, they will continue to be independent, and they remain ongoing.
Despite the fact that the investigations are separate, the St. Louis County Prosecutor, Bob McCullough, who has become a controversial figure in this case, erroneously suggested Holder and the DOJ as having been interconnected with the states’s investigation when he announced the results from the grand jury Monday night.
Holder was also reported by the New York Times to be upset that McCullough ignored the advice of the Justice Department not to televise their statement and to release a written statement instead. McCullough ignored this and many are critical that it further inflamed protesters who felt sad or angry with the court’s decision.
Eric Holder says the Justice Department has set it’s scope nationally, explaining:
The reality is what we see in Ferguson is not restricted to Ferguson. There are other communities around the country that have these same issues that have to be dealt with and we at the Justice Department are determined to do all that we can to bridge those divides. We launched in September our Building Communities of Trust initiative to provide training to law enforcement and communities on bias reduction and procedural fairness.
Wilson seems untouchable at this point but in the grander scheme of things if a better approach by police to the communities they serve is the end result, it won’t all be for not.
Watch Holder’s full statement: