The Justice Department’s civil rights investigation in Ferguson will be “thorough,” Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday, adding that law enforcement must work to “restore trust” and “foster understanding.”
Mr. Holder’s comments come the day after a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the death of black teenager Michael Brown. The announcement set off a wave of protests around the country and rioting in Ferguson.
Mr. Holder said he was “disappointed that some members of the community resorted to violence,” and that the “acts of violence threaten to drown out those that have legitimate voices.”
“The way we’ve made progress in this country is we’ve seen peaceful, nonviolent demonstrations,” the attorney general said.
Problems of racial mistrust aren’t isolated to Ferguson, and Mr. Holder said the Justice Department is launching pilot programs in five cities to help build better relationships between the police forces and the communities they serve.
Department officials said they would announce the five cities within the coming days.
“This isn’t just about talking,” Mr. Holder said of the program. “We want to make sure concrete steps are taken.”