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by
Bridget Johnson

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August 12, 2014 - 9:28 am

Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), who represents St. Louis, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member John Conyers (D-Mich.), and Congressional Black Caucus chairwoman Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio) have asked Attorney General Eric Holder to expand the Justice Department’s probe into the police shooting of a teenager in Ferguson, Mo.

Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death in a St. Louis suburb on Saturday afternoon. Police say the teen attacked an officer and tried to take his gun, while witnesses counter that the unarmed teen had his hands up in the air.

“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and US Attorney’s Office, have opened a concurrent, federal inquiry,” Holder said in a statement on Monday. “The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right.”

“I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”

The members of Congress asked Holder in a letter today to examine “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,” the lawmakers continued. “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,” they continued. “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.”

GOP Sen. Roy Blunt (Mo.) said a in statement that he stands with “all Missourians in remembering the family of Michael Brown and the Ferguson community as they grieve the tragic loss of this young man.”

“His recent high school graduation should have been a beginning of better things,” Blunt added of the teen, who was supposed to start school at a technical college on Monday.

“Everyone deserves a transparent understanding of what happened here,” the senator added. “I am fully supportive of County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar calling for DOJ and the FBI to take a careful, open review of the events that led to this tragedy for everyone involved.”

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said “as a mother, I grieve for this child and his family.”

“I pray that the wonderful, hardworking, and God-loving people of Ferguson will find peace and patience as we wait for the results of what will be numerous and thorough investigations of what happened,” McCaskill added in a statement. “I, like so many other Missourians, will not be satisfied until we have a complete and transparent understanding of all the facts and circumstances that led to this young man’s death.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.
Top Rated Comments   
I want to know how mourning leads to looting and arson.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review,” Holder said in a statement on Monday. (sic)

"Fulsome"---as in "fulsome praise"---means either "Offensive to sense, appetite, or moral or aesthetic sensibility; disgusting": or, "Offensive from insincerity or baseness of motive," according to Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary.

This means that Holder was, for once, telling the truth; that he would be acting disgustingly, from base motives. Or, it means that he is illiterate, which would also not surprise me.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (10)
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First, I have no knowledge and, so far, no opinion on the merits of this tragedy. I don't know if the officer did what was necessary or if the witnesses are accurately describing a shooting that should not have happened.
Second, I do know enough about the CBC and Holder to believe they've already formed their conclusions and that no amount of proof will exonerate the officer or the agency in the prejudiced eyes that are turning that way now.
Third, "fulsome" and "full", "fulsome" and "thorough", do not mean at all the same things. If Holder actually called for a "fulsome" investigation, he isn't even very good with language.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
If Holder actually did use the term "fulsome" in reference to an investigation by his agency, I can believe he knows what it means.

The dictionary defines "fulsome" as "offensive to good taste". As in excessive, overdone, or gross.

That pretty much describes Holder and the DOJ.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hark! Jackson, Sharpton &Co. are mobilizin'.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I want to know how mourning leads to looting and arson.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mourning only leads to looting and arson in the black community, Mandy. It's natural for them, and usually draws like minded souls from nearby communities.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
“The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review,” Holder said in a statement on Monday. (sic)

"Fulsome"---as in "fulsome praise"---means either "Offensive to sense, appetite, or moral or aesthetic sensibility; disgusting": or, "Offensive from insincerity or baseness of motive," according to Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary.

This means that Holder was, for once, telling the truth; that he would be acting disgustingly, from base motives. Or, it means that he is illiterate, which would also not surprise me.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Fulsome" can refer to lavish or copious as well as potentially offensive. It sure didn't mean anything that Holder was supposed to be saying.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Enormity," used properly, means "a great evil"---not "really, really big." But it is often incorrectly used.

"Decimate," used properly, means "to reduce by one-tenth"---not "to all but eliminate." But it is often incorrectly used.

"Fulsome," used properly, means "disgustingly overbearing, too lavish, and insincere"---not "copious," except in the sense of being slathered on as a function of gross insincerity. But it, too, is often incorrectly used.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm using an on-line dictionary for the broader definition of fulsome.
We certainly agree that Holder was using it incorrectly. But what has Holder used correctly in his time as AG? Not his office, not the law, not his transportation...
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'll agree with you regarding Holder.

Regarding dictionaries; I will use an online dictionary for a basic knockout search, but I consider them less authoritative than Wikipedia. I use a vintage unabridged dictionary---print, you know---from the middle of the last century if I want a serious word definition.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
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