Two federal law enforcement officials confirmed late Wednesday that Attorney General Eric Holder will initiate an investigative probe into the Ferguson Police Department and surrounding Police Departments in St. Louis County, MO, for civil rights violations, following the August 9th shooting of Michael Brown.
Ferguson: Local activists encouraged by news of the investigative probe
While an official announcement of the investigation is expected to be made by the DOJ sometime Thursday afternoon, local activists, as well as members of the Ferguson community —instrumental in shaping the narrative in the wake of the shooting— were encouraged by news of the probe and consider it a battle won in what will likely be a protracted fight seeking justice for Mike Brown and other victims of police violence.
“Our Ferguson area community stood united in the face of injustice and brutal repression by police who were supposed to protect and serve us,” said Jamala Rogers, Co-Founder of The Organization For Black Struggle and Organizer with HandsUpUnited. “Nearly a million people joined us and signed a petition that we delivered to the White House last week demanding that the Department of Justice take real action to stop police violence, both here and across the country. When we take action together, we can make real change.”
“This is a victory, but that there is much work to be done,” said St. Louis Artist and HandsUpUnited Organizer, Tef Poe. “On a local level, we will continue to push for an indictment of Officer Darren Wilson. On a National level, we will remain steadfast in our commitment to eliminate police brutality everywhere and ensure the rights of those most impacted by these practices are protected in their entirety.”
Ferguson: DOJ’s investigative probe series of events
News of the DOJ’s investigative probe follows a series of events and actions facilitated through http://HandsUpUnited.org , a coalition and clearinghouse for local activists and allies seeking justice for Michael Brown and an end to state-sponsored violence:
- August 22, 2014 — Ferguson youth hold press conference and list local and national demands. Demands are simultaneously published online HERE.
- August 26, 2014 — Activists from Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area march to the US Attorney’s Office, after a brief standoff a small delegation is invited inside to meet with U.S. Attorney Richard Callahan. A video of the press briefing that followed this meeting is available HERE.
- August, 28, 2014 — Activists from 16 organizations deliver a petition to the White House, signed by over 950,000 people, calling for justice for Mike Brown and an end to the national crisis of police violence.