The U.S. Justice Department likely will have a limited role in the case of Ferguson, Mo.’s Michael Brown, says NPR. Murder is generally not prosecuted in the federal system, The only jurisdictional hook the Justice Department has is whether police officer Darren Wilson violated Michael Brown’s civil rights in this shooting. And in order to make that case, they have to prove the officer, Darren Wilson, intended to use more force than a reasonable person would. That’s a really big challenge for federal prosecutors, says NPR’s Carrie Johnson. They have to delve into details such as what the officer said and did at the time, and what was in his brain.
In addition, federal authorities have community relations officials to Ferguson to try to sooth tensions. They’re also offering locals advice about community policing, including what strategies work for crowd control and which strategies don’t. In a meeting yesterday with Attorney General Eric Holder, President Obama seemed open to reviewing federal programs that send military equipment and grant money to law enforcement.