Attorney General Eric Holder met with the parents of 18-year-old Michael Brown Wednesday evening at the U.S. attorney’s office in downtown St. Louis, The Associated Press reported.
The gathering came after riots and looting have plagued the Missouri suburb of Ferguson since the Aug. 9 shooting death of Brown, who was black, by a white Ferguson, Missouri, police officer.
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Holder also met with Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, as well as Democratic Reps. Lacy Clay and Emanuel Cleaver, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, according to The Hill
A private autopsy performed at the request of Brown’s parents showed the unarmed Brown suffered six gunshots, though none in the back, as some eyewitnesses had reported.
Holder, who didn’t speak out against the rioters until the night before he arrived in Missouri, is sending "teams of prosecutors and dozens of FBI agents to investigate" in addition to ordering a federal autopsy. It will be the third autopsy of the body (local officials also conducted one), according to the Daily Mail
Tuesday night, Holder finally addressed the looting and rioting.
"The Justice Department will defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate and for the media to cover a story that must be told," he wrote in a commentary in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
. "But violence cannot be condoned. I urge the citizens of Ferguson who have been peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights to join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions and sow discord."
Wall Street Journal editorial writer Jason Riley, who is black, condemned Holder’s response to the situation in Ferguson, saying Holder’s comments would only fan the flames, according to The Daily Caller
"These looters and rioters do not need to hear from the attorney general that criticism of Obama is race-based," Riley said On Fox News "Special Report." "What they need to hear from this black man, in this position — the nation’s leading law enforcement official — is that they need to stay out of trouble with the law."
Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, has told ABC News
that charging the officer who killed her son is the way to restore justice in the community.
"Arresting this man and making him accountable for his actions; that’s justice," McSpadden said.
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