Attorney General Eric Holder emphasized Monday night that while a St. Louis grand jury chose not to indict Officer Darren Wilson, the Justice Department’s investigation isn’t over yet.
“While the grand jury proceeding in St. Louis County has concluded, the Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” Holder said in a statement Monday night. “Though we have shared information with local prosecutors during the course of our investigation, the federal inquiry has been independent of the local one from the start, and remains so now.” (RELATED: Grand Jury Does Not Indict Ferguson Police Officer)
The Department of Justice launched a civil rights investigation into police officer Darren Wilson’s shooting of Michael Brown in early September. Early leaks of DOJ’s investigation hinted that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Wilson, but Holder slammed the leakers for revealing “selective information.” (RELATED: Eric Holder To Ferguson Leakers: ‘Shut Up’ [VIDEO])
“Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence,” Holder continued. “And although federal civil rights law imposes a high legal bar in these types of cases, we have resisted forming premature conclusions.”
“Though there will be disagreement with the grand jury’s decision not to indict, this feeling should not lead to violence,” Holder said. “It does not honor [Michael Brown’s] memory to engage in violence or looting.”
Michael Brown’s family asked protesters to refrain from violence. But media on the ground in Ferguson have reported fires, vandalism and looting, which police have responded to with tear gas. Protesters attacked two police cruisers and set both on fire.
CNN reported several incidents of gunfire throughout the night as well.