Holder Blasts ‘Toxic Environment’ Created By Ferguson Police

Attorney General Eric Holder announces at the Justice Department in Washington Monday, July 14, 2014, that Citigroup will pay $7 billion to settle an investigation into risky subprime mortgages, the type that helped ... Attorney General Eric Holder announces at the Justice Department in Washington Monday, July 14, 2014, that Citigroup will pay $7 billion to settle an investigation into risky subprime mortgages, the type that helped fuel the financial crisis. The agreement comes weeks after talks between the sides broke down, prompting the government to warn that it would sue the New York investment bank. The bank had offered to pay less then $4 billion, a sum substantially less that what the Justice Department was asking for. The settlement stems from the sale of securities made up of subprime mortgages, which fueled both the housing boon and bust that triggered the Great Recession at the end of 2007. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) MORE LESS
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Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday said that while the Justice Department cleared Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson of any civil rights violations in the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown, Holder understands why the city of Ferguson reacted to the death with widespread protests.

“It is not difficult to imagine how a single tragic incident set off the city of Ferguson like a powder keg,” Holder said at a news conference detailing the Justice Department’s investigations into Brown’s death and the Ferguson Police Department’s conduct.

The Justice Department found a “widespread pattern or practice” of Constitutional violations and racial bias in the Ferguson Police Department.

Holder described a “highly toxic environment” where “people feel under assault.”

He urged those who question the Justice Department’s findings from the investigation into Brown’s death to read what he described as the “searing” report on the Ferguson Police Department’s practices.

“Although some community perceptions of Michael Brown’s tragic death may not have been accurate, the widespread conditions that these perceptions were based upon, and the climate that gave rise to them, were all too real,” Holder said.

The attorney general called upon Ferguson leaders to address the concerns raised in the Justice Department’s report.

“It is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action,” Holder said.

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