Protesters fill Ferguson streets night before attorney general's visit
FERGUSON, MO - The streets of Ferguson are filled once more tonight with protesters demonstrating against the death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old who was fatally shot Aug. 9 by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is white.
But unlike previous nights, there were no immediate reports of clashes with police, who stood by with batons and gas masks.
Attorney General Eric Holder is set to come to the St. Louis suburb Wednesday to oversee the investigation into Brown's death. That's the same day a grand jury could start hearing testimony in the case.
Holder says the Justice Department "will defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate and for the media to cover a story that must be told." He is calling on the citizens of Ferguson "to join with law enforcement in condemning the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions."
Holder will meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Brown's death. Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said Tuesday that he would not take any action to remove St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch from the investigation into Brown's death.
McCulloch's deep family connections to police have been cited by some black leaders who question his ability to be impartial. McCullouch's father, mother, brother, uncle and cousin all worked for St. Louis' police department, and his father was killed while responding to a call involving a black suspect.
Brown's funeral and memorial service are scheduled for Monday, but the time and location have not been finalized.