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Tag: michael brown

FBI Finishes Investigation of Ferguson Police Shooting That Killed Unarmed Michael Brown

Michael Brown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI has wrapped up its long-anticipated investigation into the police shooting of unarmed Michael Brown in Ferguson, a U.S. official told the Associated Press.

It’s not yet clear whether the Justice Department will pursue a federal civil rights case against former Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. But legal experts and government officials agree that it’s unlikely that charges will be filed because of the incredibly difficult legal standard.

The New York Times reported that Justice Department lawyers plan to recommend against prosecuting Wilson, but that Attorney General Eric H. Holder has not yet made up his mind.

A grand jury cleared Wilson in the Aug. 9 death of Brown, setting off protests nationwide.

Prosecutors Won’t Release Records of Interview with Michael Brown’s Friend

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Few people were in a better position to see what happened to Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was killed by a Ferguson police officer, than his friend Dorian Johnson.

But NBC News points out that the FBI never released Johnson’s witness testimony, despite a pledge to disclose all of the evidence.

Johnson was with Brown the day he was killed.

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch didn’t say why he omitted the records, which include pre-grand jury statements. His executive assistant, Bob McCulloch, said the federal government urged his office not to disclose records tied to the Justice Department’s civl rights investigation.

Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson Won’t Stop Justice Department Investigation

By Steve Neavling
www.ticklethewire.com

Chaos erupted in pockets of Ferguson Monday night after a grand jury decided not to charge a white police officer who shot an unarmed black teenager.

So what’s next? The Justice Department is investigating whether Officer Darren Wilson violated the civil rights of Michael Brown. But don’t expect him to be charged, the Washington Post reports.

The Justice Department also will be examining the policing practices in what likely will lead to wholesale reforms, the Los Angeles Times reported. Investigators will be reviewing excessive force cases and arrest reports in search of a pattern of violating residents’ rights.

Reforms are more common than charges, the LA Times wrote.

Although civil rights investigations tend to drag on, Attorney General Eric Holder said he hopes to wrap up the probe by the time he leaves office, possibly as early as February.

FBI Has Potentially Damning Recording of Moment Michael Brown Shot Dead in Ferguson

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating the shooting death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson were handed a potentially damning recording of the encounter with an officer, the Daily Mail reports.

The audio captures at least 11 shots, with a pause after seven of them.

“There sounds like a pause in it (the audio). And when you hear that pause it brings some concern,” said retired Chief Deputy US Marshall Matthew Fog after listening on CNN.

“It is very significant, because if you have a pause there it means somebody had time to think and then fire again.”
A voice in the audio can be heard saying, “You’re so pretty,” before 11 gunshots ring out.

An attorney for the unidentified man with the recording said the audio, if authentic, shows a clear “point of contemplation” while shooting.

Homeland Security Warns about Today’s ‘National Day of Rage’ Over Ferguson Shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The activist group Anonymous has hatched plans for nationwide protests in Ferguson following the shooting death of Michael Brown, and Homeland Security is worried enough to issue a warning about the potential ramifications, the Caller reports.

The group is calling for a “National Day of Rage” today.

The bulletin was issued but the Threat Management Division of the Federal Protective Service.

“Currently there is no indication that protests are expected to become violent. However, recent protests in Ferguson have resulted in violence, property damage and subsequent arrests,” the bulletin reads.

“Current civil unrest associated with the incident in Ferguson, MO, presents the potential for civil disobedience directed toward identifiable law enforcement personnel, marked law enforcement equipment and government facilities associated with law enforcement during the identified protest times and dates.”

Justice Department: More than 40 FBI Agents Conducting Investigation in Ferguson

Attorney General/DOJ file photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Eric Holder said Monday that more than 40 FBI agent are investigating the death of Michael Brown, the unarmed white teen who was shot by an officer in Ferguson.

Holder issued the following statement Monday after President Obama held a briefing.

“As I informed the President this afternoon, the full resources of the Department of Justice are being committed to our federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown.

“During the day today, more than 40 FBI agents continued their canvassing of the neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot. As a result of this investigative work, several new interviews have already been conducted.

“Moreover, at my direction, an additional medical examination is being performed on the body of Michael Brown. This autopsy is being performed today by one of the most experienced medical examiners in the United States military. I am confident this additional autopsy will be thorough and aid in our investigation.

“In addition to updating the President on these developments, I informed him of my plan to personally travel to Ferguson Wednesday. I intend to meet with FBI investigators, and prosecutors on the ground from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney’s Office officials about the ongoing investigation.

“I realize there is tremendous interest in the facts of the incident that led to Michael Brown’s death, but I ask for the public’s patience as we conduct this investigation. The selective release of sensitive information that we have seen in this case so far is troubling to me. No matter how others pursue their own separate inquiries, the Justice Department is resolved to preserve the integrity of its investigation. This is a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond.

“In order to truly begin the process of healing, we must also see an end to the acts of violence in the streets of Ferguson. Those who have been peacefully demonstrating should join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters and others seeking to enflame tensions.

“To assist on this front, the Department will be dispatching additional representatives from the Community Relations Service, including Director Grande Lum, to Ferguson. These officials will continue to convene stakeholders whose cooperation is critical to keeping the peace. Furthermore, as the President has announced, Ron Davis, our Director of the COPS office, will arrive on the ground in Ferguson Tuesday. Ron has been in touch with local and state officials since last week, providing technical assistance on crowd control techniques and facilitating communications between Missouri officials and other law enforcement officials whose communities have faced similar challenges in the past.”

Springfield News-Leader Editorial: Lots of Blame to Go Around, Too Few Answers in Ferguson

By Editorial Board
Springfield News-Leader

On Aug. 9, unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson at 12:01 p.m. in Ferguson. A vigil on Aug. 10 turned violent.

The situation deteriorated from there.

Riots and arrests. Tear gas and rubber bullets. Real bullets, riot gear and military-grade displays of force. Injuries to both protesters and police. Looting and needless destruction of property. For four straight nights, the clashes escalated, the national media descended, and still, no clear information was put forth about the death of a young, unarmed black man. After a day of relative calm gave hope that the situation was beginning to defuse, tempers flared again Friday.

As unrest continues, the blame game is already underway. At this point, it would be easy to join in on the finger-pointing based on half-truths.

It would be easy join the chorus of voices calling out our elected leaders, Gov. Nixon, U.S. Sens. McCaskill and Blunt and President Obama, for waiting so long to intervene.

It would be easy to place blame on the protesters for turning violent and rioting, citing the need for peaceful assembly.

It would be easy to hoist the burden of responsibility onto local authorities in Ferguson for their poor handling of the situation, inciting protesters to riot rather than bringing calm.

It would be easy to join in blaming the media for stirring up the situation by giving attention to it.

It would be easy to, as some are now doing, blame the young man himself for allegedly participating in a theft prior to his altercation with the police.

But there is nothing easy about the situation in Ferguson. A solution for the community will take doing the hard work.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Department Orders Independent Autopsy of Michael Brown As Violence Escalates

Michael Brown

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The federal government has ordered an independent autopsy of Michael Brown as violence continues to erupt in Ferguson, the Washington Post reports.

The request Sunday comes as the Justice Department pledges to take a play an intensified role in the investigation of the fatal police shooting of the unarmed black teenager.

The Justice Department is ordering the autopsy because of “the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case,” DOJ spokesman Brian Fallon said.

An autopsy paid for by Brown’s family showed that the teen was shot at least six times, and none of the shots appeared to be at close range. Brown was shot twice in the head, according to the autopsy.

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