In an unprecedented move by an attorney general, Eric Holder visited the embattled city of Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday. Holder described his decision to visit and initiate an investigation into the killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown as “deeply personal.” Holder went on to state to media, “I am the Attorney General of the United States, but I am also a black man. I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over … ‘Let me search your car’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff. I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me.”
The investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into possible federal and civil rights violations over Brown’s death is ongoing and intense. Holder ordered a third autopsy on the body of Michael Brown by a federal medical examiner. The St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office has only released controversial elements of its autopsy which further inflamed events on the street in Ferguson. It was revealed to the public that Michael Brown was shot 6 times and had marijuana in his system. This information was seen as an attempt to portray Brown as a violent thug on drugs.
After Holder’s visit, the night was calm in Ferguson with only seven arrests and no use of elevated force such as tear gas. Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said he attributed it to the work of clergy and community leaders on the ground as well as the overwhelming police presence. As the city goes into the weekend and prepares for the funeral of Michael Brown, many wonder what’s next for the city. There is a growing fear that the funeral will spark more protests, especially if images of the body of Michael Brown are released. In addition, Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy at the services which will occur Monday at 10:00 a.m. at Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church, 5515 Dr. Martin Luther King Dr., St. Louis, Missouri, 63112.