Holder arrives in Ferguson to oversee Brown shooting case - Tucson News Now

Holder arrives in Ferguson to oversee Brown shooting case

Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a Ferguson, MO, police officer Aug. 9. Brown was unarmed when he was killed. (Source: KTVI/CNN) Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed by a Ferguson, MO, police officer Aug. 9. Brown was unarmed when he was killed. (Source: KTVI/CNN)
Protesters gather beside a line of police officers in Ferguson, MO. (Source: CNN) Protesters gather beside a line of police officers in Ferguson, MO. (Source: CNN)
Police in riot gear stand in the streets of Ferguson, MO, while people protest the killing of Michael Brown. (Source: CNN) Police in riot gear stand in the streets of Ferguson, MO, while people protest the killing of Michael Brown. (Source: CNN)

FERGUSON, MO (RNN) - A grand jury will begin deliberations Wednesday on Officer Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, according to the St. Louis County Prosecutor.

Robert McCulloch said assistant prosecutors were presenting to the grand jury, but all evidence would not be ready immediately, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He projected they would be finished by mid-October. 

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder arrived Wednesday to meet with federal investigators looking into the shooting.

He said in an open letter published Tuesday by the Post-Dispatch he would be briefed on the investigation by the Justice Department that he has "closely monitored since I launched it more than one week ago."

"At a time when so much may seem uncertain, the people of Ferguson can have confidence that the Justice Department intends to learn - in a fair and thorough manner - exactly what happened," Holder wrote.

Since the Aug. 9 shooting, residents of the St. Louis suburb have held protests seeking what they call "justice" for the 18-year-old. Some of the rallies have grown violent, with police saying they had to respond to Molotov cocktails, gunfire and rocks with tear gas, rubber bullets and dozens of arrests on a nightly basis.

Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said 47 arrests were made late Tuesday and early Wednesday. However, there were fewer incidents of violence than previous nights, with no explosives or gunfire used by the crowds.

"I believe there was a turning point made," Johnson said. "I think that turning point was made by the clergy, the activists, the volunteers and the men and women of law enforcement who partnered together to made a difference."

On Wednesday, Scott Holste, press secretary for Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, clarified a statement made by the governor. Nixon said Tuesday that a "vigorous prosecution must now be pursued."

"The governor used the term 'prosecution' to refer to all duties and responsibilities of the prosecuting attorney, including the exercise of prosecutorial discretion; whether and what evidence to present to the grand jury; the filing of criminal charges if supported by the evidence; representing the state if charges are brought; and ultimately ensuring that justice is served," Holste said by email.

Nixon has joined Holder, Johnson and community leaders asking for the end of the rioting, looting and acts of violence that have sidetracked peaceful attempts at protesting.

Witnesses of the shooting who came forward described Brown, a black man, as a victim of excessive force who was holding his hands up when Wilson, a white police officer, opened fire.

However, a third-hand account supplied by a caller on a radio show stated Brown fought with the officer and charged at him before getting shot. CNN reported that matched the story supplied by the officer.

The police department released surveillance video Friday of a man reported to be Brown stealing cigars from a convenience store and shoving the clerk shortly before the shooting. Critics questioned the timing and relevance of the video, although the radio caller claimed that incident was involved in the confrontation.

The situation has gained nationwide attention - media and protesters from across the country have descended on the town. Ferguson-area schools were canceled for the week.

Copyright 2014 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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