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#Ferguson: CBC Chair, Conyers + Clay Call for FBI Probe

#Ferguson: CBC Chair, Conyers + Clay Call for FBI Probe

This evening, CBC Chair Marcia Fudge (D-OH), Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) and Lacy Clay (D-MO) are calling for an expanded federal investigation into the Mike Brown shooting.   Their full letter to Attorney General Eric Holder can be seen here FBI-STL

On Saturday, teenager Michael Brown was shot in the street by police officers in Ferguson, Missouri (Clay’s district).  Some reports say he had been shot at least ten times by police.  Several witnesses have stated in the press that Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot.   Many people at the scene complained that the police mike-mike-550x424left Brown’s body uncovered in the street for a substantial time after the shooting.  Police in Ferguson claim Brown was in an altercation with an officer in a police car and that a round went off in the vehicle.

The incident follows two others involving police that have become national news: The killing of Eric Garner, who was put in a choke hold by a New York City Police Officer and died, and the July 1 beating on the side of the road of Marlene Pinnock, 51, by a California Highway Patrol Officer.  Both incidents were on video tape.

Since the incident, twitter has blown up with photos, video and comments on the incident.  The entire release is below.

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Clay, Conyers, Fudge Request Expanded FBI Probe in Police Shooting of Unarmed Black Teen in Ferguson, Missouri — Letter to Attorney General Holder Requests Expanded Justice Department Probe into Civil Rights Violations, Alleged Pattern of Police Misconduct

xfurguson-police-shooting.jpg.pagespeed.ic_.ukz9yMwU7m-300x290WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the wake of last Saturday’s tragic police shooting of Michael Brown, an 18-year old unarmed African American teen in Ferguson, Missouri, who was shot multiple times and killed by a Ferguson police officer, Congressman Wm. Lacy Clay (D) Missouri, joined by House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Congressman John Conyers (D) Michigan, and Congresswoman Marsha Fudge (D) Ohio have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to expand the scope of the FBI 53e6fdb54153f.preview-620investigation into the shooting, including a rigorous review of patterns of alleged police misconduct.

In their letter to Attorney General Holder. Mr. Clay and his colleagues wrote:

“In light of the foregoing developments, we ask the Department of Justice to investigate the shooting of Michael Brown, looking at both the facts of the specific incident as well as the potential for any pattern or practice of police misconduct by the Ferguson Police Department.

We understand that the St. Louis County Police Department is investigating the matter in order to have some level of independent investigation take place, but this arrangement is insufficient for at least two reasons.

First, the St. Louis County Police Department may not be the most objective or credible body to investigate civil rights matters involving law enforcement given evidence of racial profiling by that department in the recent past, which Congressman Clay had asked the Department of Justice to investigate.

Second, only the federal government has the resources, the experience, and the full independence to give this case the close scrutiny that the citizens of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area deserve. Moreover, to the extent that a pattern or practice of police misconduct may exist, such misconduct would be a clear violation of federal law, including 42 U.S.C. § 14141, which makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Such conduct would include the use of excessive force by police.”