Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson, Missouri, as promised on Wednesday, and while claiming the nation's top law enforcement officer who is seeking the truth in the case of a black 18-year-old being shot to death by a white police officer on Aug. 9, 2014. But instead of be an unbiased observer, Holder reinforced the news media's and civil-rights leaders' stereotype of white, male police officers by throwing the cop under the so-called "Obama bus," say a number of critics from law enforcement.
Holder received a rundown regarding the the circumstances surrounding Brown’s killing and planned to meet with community leaders, elected officials and federal prosecutors here. Earlier this week, asked the citizens of Ferguson for “cooperation and patience” as the investigation proceeds.
“I understand that mistrust. 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," Holder told a crowd of young college students.
"We have a very active Civil Rights Division. I am proud of what these men and women have done. As they write about the legacy of the Obama administration, a lot of it is going to be about what the Civil Rights Division has done," Holder added.
But Holders sharpest critics claim he has been -- and continues to be -- a hypocrite with his statements on race. "Does he think we've forgotten how he and his department turned a blind eye to the intimidation of voters during the presidential election by members of the Black Panthers? The Justice Department not only allowed that group to skate through its slipshod investigation, but rationalized their decision," according to former criminal defense attorney and political strategist Mike Barker.
One police officer, who is African American and requested anonymity, said, "Holder, Obama and others in the administration seem incredibly obsessed with race... especially Holder whose personal feelings about being a man of color border on paranoia."
"You have Gov. Nixon, President Obama and Eric Holder making comments that may well sway members of the grand jury who may be swayed by these comments or fear retribution if they don't indict Officer Wilson," said the veteran police officer. "What's worse is that if there is an indictment, that will increase the rush to judgement since anyone working in the criminal justice system knows you can talk a grand jury into indicting a pastrami sandwich," he added.
Also on Wednesday in St. Louis County, Missouri, a grand jury began hearing the prosecution's evidence in the case. Eventually four-year veteran police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed Michael Brown, is expected to be given the opportunity to testify inside the courtroom.
The grand jurors who convened on Wednesday will meet one day each week until their jury duty expires in Sept. 1, 2014. At that point, a specially impaneled grand jury will hear the Brown case. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon angered many cops and police supporters when he called for a “vigorous prosecution” in pursuing Brown’s killer. He too was blasted for his comments that one cop said "smacks of bias and raises expectations, even before an indictment is handed down by the grand jury."