U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was scheduled to arrive in Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday as a federal investigation continues in the shooting death of unarmed teen Mike Brown on Aug. 9. In response to the recent clashes between police and protestors, Holder said the Department of Justice's investigation will be “fair and thorough” in an op-ed Wednesday for the St. Louis Dispatch.
Here are five facts to know about the DOJ’s investigation and what Holder plans to accomplish while in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
1. Meetings and Briefings
Holder will spend time in Ferguson being briefed on the investigation into the Brown shooting, not recent police conduct during protests over the death, and will meet with “community leaders, FBI investigators and federal prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” according to the op-ed.
2. How Many Investigators Are in Ferguson?
“During the day today, more than 40 F.B.I. agents continued their canvassing of the neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot. As a result of this investigative work, several new interviews have already been conducted,” said Holder in a DOJ statement.
3. Federal Autopsy of Mike Brown
The federal autopsy took place on Monday and was conducted by a military medical examiner. “I am confident this additional autopsy will be thorough and aid in our investigation,” said Holder. The DOJ will also review the private autopsy ordered by Brown’s family as part of its investigation.
4. A Call to End the Violence
After days of violent clashes between protestors and police, Holder called for peace “in order to begin the healing process.” “We must also see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Those who have been peacefully demonstrating should join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters and others seeking to inflame tensions,” said Holder. The National Guard was called in to calm tensions in Ferguson this week. Holder said representatives from the DOJ’s Community Relations Service will also be sent to Ferguson.
5. How Long Will the Investigation Last?
Holder did not say how long the investigation will last, but he asked for the public’s patience. Holder said the "bonds of trust" between the public and police are important, and criticized the release of “sensitive information” during the investigation. "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,” wrote Holder in the op-ed.