August 18, 2014, 07:00 pm
Missouri senator to Obama: Don't let Holder take over in Ferguson
By Alexander Bolton
Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) on Monday urged President Obama to ensure that Attorney General Eric Holder does not take the investigation into Michael Brown’s death away from Missouri officials.
The shooting of the unarmed black teenager by a police officer has sparked days of civil unrest and raised concerns among civil rights advocates over whether local officials can be trusted to fairly investigate the teen’s death. An autopsy report released Sunday found Brown was shot six times.
Blunt, who will join Holder and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) at an event in Ferguson on Wednesday, stressed that the president needs to let state investigators continue their work.
“I explained to the president that I've been pleased with my conversations with the attorney general and civil rights division regarding their helpful understanding that they aren't taking over this investigation, but are conducting a parallel review of the events that led to Michael Brown's death,” Blunt said in a statement.
“I continue to believe that this is the best possible way to arrive at a transparent explanation that would be largely acceptable to all of those who have been impacted in the community by this tragedy,” he said.
Blunt has argued that state and local officials have a responsibility to delve into the matter on their own.
While the federal government has a role in assisting state officials, it should not take over their responsibilities, he said Monday.