Attorney General Eric Holder says there is an obvious need for “wholesale change” in the Ferguson, Mo., police department, the Associated Press reports. The statement at a “Washington Ideas” forum yesterday came as the Justice Department continues a broad investigation into the practices of the police department after the Aug. 9 police shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown. That investigation focuses on alleged patterns of racial discrimination and on how officers in the predominantly white department use force and search and arrest suspects.
Local and federal authorities are also continuing to investigate the shooting of Brown by Officer Darren Wilson for potential criminal charges. A St. Louis County grand jury is expected to decide by mid-November whether to indict Wilson. Holder would not say what the reforms should be or discuss potential leadership changes at the department. He did say, “I think it's pretty clear that the need for wholesale change in that department is appropriate.” A government official confirmed there are discussions among Missouri officials about having Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson step down as part of efforts to change the department. Jackson said he had not resigned and had not been asked to resign.