Holder Goes to Ferguson, makes matters (a) better, or (b) worse?
Will aggressive federal intervention make matters worse?
Attorney General Eric Holder is meeting with law enforcement and civil rights leaders in Ferguson, Missouri today in an attempt to ease racial tensions in the St. Louis Metro area. It’s unclear, however whether Holder’s presence will calm the violence, or make things more difficult for local and state law enforcement:
Justice Department officials say the unusually aggressive federal intervention is justified by the continuing violence and apparent mishandling of the case by local officials, who have been criticized for displaying excessive force against protesters and moving too slowly to investigate the Aug. 9 shooting.
But law enforcement officials and other experts could not recall another instance in which Washington pushed ahead with a federal civil rights case as it has in Ferguson, almost elbowing state officials out of the way.
Fortunately for America, Holder also took time out of his busy schedule to get in on a selfie:
A man takes a selfie with Attorney General Eric Holder #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/SI8jScJfJ2
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 20, 2014
Holder has also encouraged local civil rights leaders and advocates to promote a more federal-centric approach to resolving the crisis in Ferguson.
In a sign that Holder’s campaign is gaining traction in the area, a group of African American lawyers held a news conference Tuesday in front of the St. Louis County courthouse, calling on local prosecutor Robert McCulloch to recuse himself. They said the federal investigation should proceed first because McCulloch appears to be “emotionally invested in protecting law enforcement.”
Yet with all of Holder’s determination, the reality is that state prosecutions almost always go first and that a federal civil rights case could be harder to build and win than a state case involving a charge of murder or manslaughter.
The Justice Department has spent a great deal of time briefing President Obama on the situation, and has dispatched agents to Ferguson to interview witnesses and arrange a third autopsy on Michael Brown. Although the President has maintained a lower profile on the issue than has General Holder, he still had a message for the people and law enforcement officers of Ferguson:
Via CBS News:
“We have all seen images of protesters and law enforcement in the streets. It’s clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protesting. What’s also clear is that a small minority of individuals are not,” he said.
“While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Michael Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines rather than advancing justice.”
“Let me also be clear that our constitutional rights to speak freely, to assemble and to report in the press must be vigilantly safeguarded especially in moments like these. There is no excuse for excessive force by police, or any action that denies people the right to protest peacefully,” he added.
Ahead of his visit to Ferguson, General Holder penned an op-ed in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch asking citizens in the St. Louis metro area to work with law enforcement to end the violence:
This is my pledge to the people of Ferguson: Our investigation into this matter will be full, it will be fair, and it will be independent. And beyond the investigation itself, 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. Long after the events of Aug. 9 have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community.
The only problem with these statements (and they are, generally, good and productive statements that should be heeded) is that the Obama Administration has defined itself as the most racial post-racial administration in American history, and Eric Holder is no exception to that rule.
The riots in Ferguson are fueled by the very racial tensions that General Holder has spent his career fine-tuning, and it’s fair for conservatives and civil libertarians to wonder whether or not it would be best for General Holder and the DoJ’s Civil Rights Department to stay out of it.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.
Go back to DC, Eric. There is no federal issue in this case.
“My people” Holder’s finest hour.
He and Captain Johnson, the highway patrol captain who marched with the protestors next to the New Black Panthers and Crips (or Bloods?) and was throwing gang signs, fell all over each other. They need to get a room.
Holder is a failure as AG, but he might be good on the back of a garbage truck. ‘Mon back.
This will put a smile on your face. Police Chief lets Trooper Ron Johnson have it with both barrels:
Chief lists case after case where officer was faced with similar situation (unknowingly stopping a fugitive) Darren Wilson faced with Michael Brown.
Good find. 🙂
Awesome. F**king awesome. READ Unc’s link, folks.
hes a pile of sh*t that will purposely inflame the situation.
Does anyone know what Grand Jury and indictment rules in Missoui are?
Let us assume that the governor appoints a special proscutor: let’s call her Angela.
1) Can Angela shutdown the grand jury?
2) If not can she take over the role of presiding over the jury?
I suspect that McCulloch is presenting the evidence straight
to the jury, and letting them decide rather then trying to
force a “ham sandwich” indictment. If I were sitting on a GJ and
saw a change in tone from that to one which Angela Corey would
have, then I would start asking the prosecutor and witnesses some
very hard questions, and trying to get the other jurors to agree
to subpenaing a few witnesses the prosecutor may not want to
3) If the jury returns a No Bill can the case be submitted to a new
grand jury, or as an indictment to a judge? I know various states
have various rules.
4) If the jury returns a No Bill can they then take it to judge to
get an indictment? If so do they have to they have to tell the
judge that a No Bill was returned from a GJ? I’m sure Angela
would try her hardest not to.
I’m going to give you what information I can…and it is all general, not specific to Missouri. Old bar exam stuff, floating up from my old memory. Which is old.
Grand juries belong to the court. A prosecutor has no power to shut one down, but can GET one shut down for good cause.
A prosecutor can reload several times with different grand juries. That’s how they go DeLay’s indictment.
A judge does not indict. That is the perview of the prosecutor or the grand jury.
Hope that helps.
I’m not clear what you mean by reload. Convene a new GJ after a No Bill? Abandon a case in front of a GJ and start from scratch later?
IIRC from Merrit Landry Louisiana has a “two no bills and your out” rule. Some state has three and many states have one.
As for the indictment part. I think indictment maybe the wrong word.
Remember the in GZ Corey eschewed a GJ. Instead she presented some affidavit of the facts and had the judge sign off on an arrest warrant/indictment.
Now that a GJ is impaneled is that whole process out the window?
If not does Angela have to include the “No Bill” in any affidavit?
Convene a new GJ after a No Bill.
There may be limits in some states, but in Louisiana I think it was a matter of what the politics would stand. Could be wrong.
Maybe you are searching for “criminal complaint”. Dunno.
I doubt that a prior no-bill has to be presented to a subsequent grand jury. But that is just using logic. You would never present a prior hung jury verdict to a new jury hearing the case in a trial court.
“Holder has also encouraged local civil rights leaders and advocates to promote a more federal-centric approach to resolving the crisis in Ferguson.”
Well, right there you have it. A “crisis”. Ferguson is so screwed.
And it really isn’t a “crisis”, though it sure is a situation, and that primarily because of people who sought to create a breakdown in civility.
This is the worst thing Holder said…
“Long after the events of Aug. 9 have receded from the headlines, the Justice Department will continue to stand with this community.”
OR, you people are going to have the Federal government camping in your chilli from now on…
Well, we are only 50 years into LBJ’s promised 200 years of co-dependency.
The majority of the “protesters” seem to be anarchists who have come from outside of Ferguson.
I suspect that there are few within the area that are involved with the riots and looting.
It also seems that there is someone who is co-ordinating the protests.
I do not have to look very far to discover who that someone might be… she is…..
You are so nice to them!
POS criminals is what I call looters and rioters.
That’s what they are.
And I doubt any of them knows what “anarchist” means.
I see Ferguson breaking down this way…
1. Local people, mostly want to be safe at home and going to work
2. Local protesters (mostly NOT lawless and sincerely [if groundlessly] pissed)
3. Local thugs, taking advantage of anything they can, a source of the looting and arson
4. Local professional black grievancers (as in ‘grievance’) who are looking to stir the pot and cause a race war
5. Outside No. 4s
6. Anarchists from all over, who flock to these things like vultures, and who you’ll see at G-20 meetings, GOP conventions, etc. They want a race war, too Or a war. Or a fire. Or a big explosion.
You have forgotten one other item, the raison d’etre for fanning the flames and pouring on incendiaries in Ferguson
7. Obama and the Democrats need a big smokescreen to hide/distract from Open Border dangers, Illegals with 3rd world diseases, ISIS and other ugly consequences of Obama’s Arab Spring, jobs, economy, and a thousand other high crimes, misdemeanors, embarrassments and scandals.
At lunch I read an article that stated that amongst the latest people arrested, 3 had Ferguson addresses and 75 were not from Ferguson.
Yep. But something I’ve wondered about is how many arrests were for looting? I figure there are “facebooks” full of active anarchists, since they DO tend to turn up at these events, and I would want to scoop them up off the street if I were a LEO. We could go after looters later.
He is race baiting too.
From Eric Holder’s “open letter” to the people of Ferguson: “And police forces should reflect the diversity of the communities they serve.”
Hiring with an eye on race and ethnicity violates the civil-rights laws that Mr. Holder is supposedly enforcing. And such discrimination is not only unfair and divisive; it also means that the less qualified will be hired over the more qualified, which is in no one’s interest, including of course the general public being protected.
Meh. Legal schmegal. When you are an “activist” Attorney General, laws are for the little people.
I am quite familiar with what happened with the New Haven, CT fire dept. a few years ago. Promotion to whatever grade was supposed to be based strictly on test scores. The whites scored very well on the tests; the blacks – not so good.
New Haven had a dilemma on its’ hands; only whites should have been promoted based on stated policy and test scores. After the test scores were in, New Haven ‘changed the rules’ to allow a good number of blacks to be promoted.
The whites sued … and surprisingly they won their case. The case was Ricci vs DeStefano and was heard by SCOTUS. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricci_v._DeStefano.
Which Holder knows damn good and well. But he is the first AG to be held in contempt of Congress, and there is a good reason for that.
How many times have the Obami been benchslapped by the unanimous Supremes?
Hey buddy, Holder gonna lay down the law, y’know, legal and not legal. Quiz: Name the crimes.
a) WWB — walking while black
b) RWB — robbing while black
c) AWB — assault cop while black (no, not that white band)
d) PWW — policing while white
e) LWW — looting while white
Answer: d and e.
Obama sent Holder to keep the riots going.
He has never had a better distraction, and he is nearly completely out of the news.
When has Eric Holder ever made anything better? (Other than for himself, that is).
Comes now the Ferguson spring closely patterned after the Arab spring.
it’s fair for conservatives and civil libertarians to wonder whether or not it would be best for General Holder and the DoJ’s Civil Rights Department to stay out of it.
The Civil Rights Department? Does anyone remember the new hires in that Department in 2009? EVERY LAST ONE of them was experienced in leftist activism organizations organized around racial, immigration and LGBTQ issues. It was apparently a requirement for employment at DOJ. No centrists nor conservatives need apply.
That was one of the bellwethers that told me just how screwed we were going to be.
I mean, I knew…but I didn’t KNOW. Then I did.
This is a video of the other shooting
The recorder IMO is wrong about the handcuffs, the “shoot in the leg”, and the “he could have tazed him”, but I don’t know if it’s a clean shoot. You can’t really see if the guy is coming at them.
By coming I mean lunging.
Thanks for the link, but I can’t get the video to play. Tried several browsers & then gave up.
AG Holder’s presence in Ferguson will not make anything better, and neither will his promised federalization of the investigation and search for a civil rights violation. (Unless he’s talking about suing Brown’s accomplice on behalf of Officer Wilson? Nah.) He went there to keep things bad or make them worse, in accord with his racist agenda.
Oh, and Amy … Eric Holder is the Attorney General of the United State; he can be addressed by that title or by the abbreviation “AG”. But please stop referring to that sad excuse for a human as “General Holder”! People might think he once held high rank in the military, which he did not – although he is highly rank.
I read elsewhere that Holder spoke to a small group at a community college in Furguson about his own personal experiences with racial profiling. He offered no proof that his stories were true, of course. But he was actually instigating racism. What a poor excuse for a U.S Attorney General.
“All politics is local”, with the proviso that local politics is directed by the national Central Committee. As with the Travon Martin case the Feds are there to help direct opposition against those stubborn facts J. Adams was talking about in the shooting deaths of Bostonians by “law enforcement.” “If they are white, we must indict!” But then just what percentage of “white” is used… say as in George Zimmerman.
Whats amazing to me is that President Obama and Eric Holder can still convince Politicians and Government Employees to tow the line while destroying their careers! Watching Governor Nixon destroy everything to suck up for a possible future place in the Obama administration. This guy can’t be that stupid, can he?
Holder is an outside agitator arriving to make matters worse, and consolidate power among street thugs willing to do violence on the left’s behalf.
The left coddles criminals because criminals are easily bought off and make a good street army.
One thing to take heart from…
Holder promised he was going after Zimmerman, too…
If I remember correctly, criminal law, the exercise of police power, belongs to the states, not the federal government, there is no common law federal police power. So, the feds should stay out of Ferguson until or unless normal state legal processes are failing to operate. Federal civil rights charges are difficult to prove and not usually invoked unless state justice procedures aren’t followed. That means Holder should stay away from Ferguson and as Attorney-General let the investigation move ahead and allow the justice system to do its job which takes time. I think his jumping in now muddies the waters and is inappropriate.
You’re talking about a nation of laws operating within a constitutional republic. That’s our history, not our reality.
Where have you been the last six years?
While Holder’s presence is definitely bad news for Ferguson, it’s damn fine news for wherever Holder isn’t.