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The Latest From Ferguson, Missouri

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Attorney General Eric Holder’s trip to Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday brings the full weight of the U.S. government to its investigation of the police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Holder is uniquely suited to the task of reassuring protesters that the case will be handled fairly. The first African-American to serve as attorney general, he’s pushed the government into bolder action on civil rights. He’s championed reduced sentences for non-violent drug crimes, opposed voting restrictions and cracked down on brutality and racial bias by police.

Holder says he knows from personal experience as a young man what it’s like to be stopped and searched by police without cause. And he says the Trayvon Martin case prompted him to warn his teenage son how to act if that happens to him.

 

Funeral services for the black 18-year-old killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri are planned for Monday.

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the family of Michael Brown, says the exact time and location for the memorial has not been finalized.

The shooting of the unarmed Brown by officer Darren Wilson has stoked more than a week of unrest in the city. Police have used tear gas, sound projectors and other means to turn back demonstrators, some of whom have lobbed Molotov cocktails and bottles at officers.

The volatile scenes prompted Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to deploy the National Guard in an effort control the unrest.

More than a dozen civil and human rights groups are appealing for openness in the investigation of the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Coalition members, including the ACLU and National Bar Association, have filed lawsuits seeking the incident report in the shooting of Brown by Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson. The Justice Department has launched an independent investigation into the case.

They want Justice officials to prepare reports on police killings, police training, police oversight, racial profiling of minorities and youth, and police policies such as “stop-and-frisk.”

The group has recommended that dashboard cameras be mandatory in police cars, that police officers wear body cameras, and that a law enforcement commission be created to review police tactics.

The city of Ferguson, Missouri, says it working hard to better connect with the community and learn from the “discord and heartbreak” that followed the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer.

The St. Louis suburb put out a statement Tuesday saying that Mayor James Knowles III, members of the City Council and city employees have been meeting with residents, religious and elected leaders to address concerns raised following Brown’s death on Aug. 9. Officer Darren Wilson is on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.

The statement from the city says it wants to get more black officers onto the police force, and to rebuild the West Florissant Avenue business district that has been ravaged by nightly confrontations between police and protesters.

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