- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 21, 2014

Saying that few things have affected him as greatly as his visit to Ferguson, Missouri, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed his sympathy for everyone involved in the deadly shooting which has disrupted life in the town.

Mr. Holder said he met with the family of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager who was killed by a white police officer Aug. 9.

“I spoke to them not just as attorney general but as a father, with a teenage son myself,” he said at a press conference Thursday morning. “They, like so many in Ferguson, want answers.”

But as the brother of a retired law enforcement officer — and as attorney general — Mr. Holder said he also understands the difficulties and challenges that police officers must face.

“Our men and women in uniform perform their duties in the face of tremendous threats and significant personal risk,” he said. “They put their lives on the line every day and they often have to make split second decisions.”

Mr. Holder, who visited Ferguson Wednesday, said he met with community leaders and law enforcement officers alike. He reiterated his call for calm in the town, but said he understands the issues of race that have underscored the recent clashes.

“There is a history to these tensions, and that history simmers in more communities than just Ferguson,” he said.

The people of Ferguson — and of the U.S. — can be assured that federal investigators will get to the truth, Mr. Holder said.

“While so much else maybe uncertain, this attorney general and this Department of Justice stand with the people of Ferguson,” he said. “Our investigation will be fair, it will be thorough and it will be independent.”