Lesley McSpadden, center, drops rose petals on the blood stains from her 18-year-old son Michael Brown who was shot and killed by police in the middle of the street in Ferguson, Mo., near St. Louis on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014.
Huy Mach/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP

FBI to open probe into Michael Brown shooting in Missouri

The specific details surrounding Saturday’s events in Ferguson, Missouri, remain unclear. We know that in this St. Louis suburb, an unarmed, 18-year-old African American named Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. As Adam Serwer explained, there are conflicting accounts about what led to the violence.
The circumstances surrounding Brown’s death remain murky. Local police claim he tried to steal an officer’s gun. Witnesses have told the press that Brown had his hands in the air when he was shot. Ferguson residents have been protesting over the shooting since Saturday, by Sunday night some protesters had turned to looting and vandalism
This morning we learned that the shooting will be investigated both by local law enforcement and by federal officials from the FBI.
 
In fact, the seriousness of what transpired in Ferguson rose to the level of U.S. Attorney General, with Eric Holder issuing a statement this afternoon, noting that investigators will work together with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
 
“The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right,” Holder said in a written statement. “I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.”
 
It’s likely we’ll have more on this on tonight’s show, but in the meantime, here’s a report from msnbc’s Joy Reed this afternoon.
 
 

Missouri

FBI to open probe into Michael Brown shooting in Missouri