Peter Kinder, lieutenant governor of Missouri, has come out swinging against the Justice Department, saying it is more racist than the Ferguson police force.
"There is more racism in the Justice Department than there is in anywhere I see in the St. Louis area," Kinder said Monday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
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"We've come an enormous way in 50 years. That's not to say we don't have still more to do. But it is the left — the [Attorney General] Eric Holder and [President Barack] Obama left — and their minions who are obsessed with race while the rest of us are moving on beyond it."
The Justice Department found incidents of racism in the Ferguson police force and recommended changes — despite the fact that white officer Darren Wilson was cleared of criminal and civil-rights charges in the shooting death of unarmed black man Michael Brown, 18.
The tragedy last August triggered race riots and sparked a nationwide debate about race and law enforcement. Last week, two Ferguson police officers were shot during one protest outside police headquarters.
Kinder, a Republican, also ripped into the Show Me State's Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon, a bitter political adversary, for keeping him in the dark about Ferguson developments.
"The governor communicates effectively with no one, not the mayors when their towns were burning," he said. "Except he does get on the phone to [Obama senior adviser] Valerie Jarrett in the White House."
Kinder said the Ferguson protest movement was based on a lie — a discredited claim that Brown had his hands up and begged, "Don't shoot!'' before he was shot dead by Wilson.
"It's bad enough the protestors were behaving that way, but we have a right to expect much more from the attorney general … and the president of the United States," he said.
"Instead, what we got too often from them was incitement of the mob and encouraging disorder in Ferguson and disrupting the peaceable going about of our daily lives in the greater St. Louis region. It's been enormously destructive and enormously hurtful.
"Ferguson is not a slum area, it is not even a declining area. It is a stable community filled with good people, solid businesses, and it was experiencing something of a renaissance of small businesses in the area where the rioting broke out before the 9th of August.
Kinder said the Obama White House was guilty of an "enormous injustice perpetrated upon the good citizens of Ferguson."
"We've never seen an administration like this. We've never seen a Department of Justice like this: staffed with radical, hard left, radical, leftist lawyers. They are not like any Justice Department in American history. Eric Holder is unlike any previous attorney general," he said.
"Many of them have spent most of their careers defending Black Panthers and other violent radicals and saying, as the president did so many times … that [the protesters] have legitimate grievances that we must pay attention to.
"There are some legitimate grievances out there, and I will say that anything legitimately identified in the DOJ report where reforms are needed, they're being made."
He pointed to police officers' being dismissed or disciplined and the resignations of both the chief of police and the city manager in Ferguson.
"At some point, the protesters need to give us a [break] … The good business people along the streets in Ferguson are crying out to be left alone and not having mobs or protesters out there that shut down the street and make it impossible for them to open their doors and do business and provide jobs for people who need them in the community," he said.
Will that happen?
"I'm hopeful. There were some sane voices who stood up Saturday at a press conference, including an African-American minister … I was very heartened by his message," Kinder said.
"He was not alone. He was joined by the small-business owners of a pub here and a retail shop there.
"[They] said we're working six and seven days a week, 12 hours a day, to provide jobs for people in the community and the protesters are making it impossible for us to keep our doors open when the police have to shut the street down."
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