As expected, the Justice Department announced Wednesday that it will not prosecute former Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The case followed the same pattern that we saw him the Zimmerman investigation: a premature entry into the case, Attorney General Eric Holder making public comments assuring a federal response, a long investigation, and a leak from the Justice Department preparing people for the rejection of any charges. In both cases, some of us questioned the timing of the entry of the federal investigators and the weak basis for a civil rights investigation. (For a prior column, click here) In the end, the Justice Department found much of the same inconsistencies detailed by the grand jury and the police in the Ferguson case.
Yesterday, the Justice Department closed the book on the George Zimmerman case with the announcement that it will not file federal civil rights charges. When Attorney General Eric Holder ordered in federal investigators soon after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, some (including myself) questioned the legal basis for entering the case based on the still developing evidence. The Justice Department usually allows state or city prosecutors and police to finish their investigation before entry into a case. Holder was viewed as responding to political pressure in ordering the premature entry in the case. That investigation will now end shortly before Holder leaves his very controversial tenure as Attorney General.
Continue reading “Justice Department: Zimmerman Will Not Be Charged With Federal Crimes”
Much of the talk after the massive march for free speech in Paris this weekend was the absence of President Barack Obama with other world leaders. It was an embarrassment for our country and slap in the face to the French. Instead, the Administration sent Jane Hartley, one of its bundlers turned diplomats who were given a major appointment for raising money for the President. Even though Attorney General Eric Holder was in Paris that very day, he did not even stick around to march with other leaders. The Administration is now admitting that it blew it but there is a mystifying lack of basic competence and foresight at the White House at such moments. Rather than attend the rally, Obama stated in town for a photo op with the San Antonio Spurs. It was a shameful image to leave with French. This was not the only such controversy over who was present and who was not.