Holder Expanding Federal Probe, Blacks Becoming Fed Up with Police Brutality

HolderBy Walter L. Hilliard III


So now President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder’s Justice Department is expanding its investigation into the death of the Ferguson, MO, teenager Mike Brown and investigating not only the Ferguson police but all police forces across St. Louis County by doing what is called a “pattern and practice” investigation that doesn’t include an investigation of individual policemen.  Brown was repeatedly shot by Officer Darren Wilson. There are also private lawsuits against other Ferguson policemen, including one in which police officers beat a 12-year-old boy retrieving the mail out of his mailbox on his own property.

I believe we are on the verge of a cultural shift that will take a significant, long overdue step in the right direction to seriously address police brutality. Already, largely because of protesting, looting and militaristic police response in Ferguson, MO, Ferguson police are wearing donated body cams. There are also ongoing protests picking up around the country for Eric Garner, the Black New York man killed by a police chokehold, and Victor White of New Iberia, who police are alleging shot and killed himself in the back while handcuffed. However, a coroner later said he actually shot himself in the chest while handcuffed outside of the police station – all of this occurring after police said they patted him down and didn’t find a gun. And even though all police stations in the United States have security cameras, this one just happened to not have a camera so there’s no tape to show what really happened.

The awareness of the public, and Blacks in particular, is rising as if Black people are finally getting fed up with police brutality. There is a tense atmosphere of protest, which has also been reflected in a movement of McDonald’s workers across the country walking off the job on September 4th, 2014, to protest low wages. The reports I’ve seen have shown mostly Black McDonald’s workers sitting and yelling in the middle of the street.


So we’ll see what happens.