Nixon: Justice will be served in Ferguson shooting
By LEIGH MUNSIL |
8/24/14 10:19 AM EDT
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said he's confident that justice will be served in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown that led to protests and stand-offs between the community and police force in Ferguson in recent weeks.
Still, he allowed for the possibility that the police officer allegedly responsible for the shooting death of the unarmed teen might not be charged: “All of those things could happen," the Democrat said on CNN's "State of the Union."
"But the bottom line is our focus here is on making sure that the dual investigations, one by the local prosecutor and by the U.S. attorney general and the Justice Department, move forward and that they’re thorough," he said. "… In order to get justice, you have to have thorough investigations with great transparency and I think that both of those teams are working very hard to do just that.”
Host Candy Crowley asked repeatedly whether Nixon is confident that St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch will be able to run an unbiased investigation. McCulloch has been criticized for deciding not to bring charges against two officers accused of excessive force in the killing of two unarmed African-American men in 2000, and local community members have called for him to recuse himself from the case.
"Well, he was democratically elected by overwhelming numbers, and reelected and reelected," Nixon said.
Crowley interrupted: "But are you confident in him?"
Nixon answered: "I am confident that with the dual investigations that ultimately justice will be served here. And I do believe that everybody has a duty to do here. I think that all the folks around this appreciate fully the pressure and the watch that's going on here, and I'm hopeful that everyone is going to live up to those duties and do a good job."
"But I can't get you to say that you're absolutely confident that Robert McCulloch can do that?" Crowley asked.
"Clearly he has experience, he has the office, the people here have elected him. And you don't want to pre-judge any of this," Nixon said. "I do know that everybody's working hard, I think the Justice Department being involved, the local prosecutor being involved, the investigators being involved, there's a lot of folks working on the street out there to make sure they get this one right, and I think that with that intention I think that they will move this case forward."
Nixon also said that he's focused on making sure that Brown's funeral, which will take place Monday morning, will be a respectful and safe event.
"Our focus is on making sure that folks are safe, that they have the right to speak and that justice is served," he said. "And in that context, clearly the morning that we'll go through for all of the family and quite frankly many people tomorrow ... it will be done in a context in which there is good respect and safety."