Ferguson state of emergency ends as DOJ investigates police

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Ferguson State of Emergency Ends as DOJ Investigates Police

It's been almost three weeks since Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Ferguson. Wednesday, he finally lifted that declaration after gradually ramping down the police presence.

Nixon released a statement citing faith leaders and the community working with law enforcement as the reason for reversing the two executive orders that implemented a state of emergency and called up the Missouri National Guard.

While putting an end to the state of emergency sounds like a step in the right direction, it also squelches Nixon's ability to appoint a special prosecutor for the investigation of Michael Brown's death, something protestors had been asking for.

The current prosecutor, Robert McCulloch, is believed by many residents to be biased in favor of the police, and there are fears in the community that he may not conduct a fair investigation.

Under the state of emergency, Nixon had the option to replace McCulloch, something the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out he opted not to do.

"Despite clear tension between the two men-including public statements like 'man up' from McCulloch, who all but dared Nixon to remove him-Nixon consistently declined, saying he had faith in the standing legal system."

Nixon's decision to lift the state of emergency comes the same day The Washington Post reports Attorney General Eric Holder plans to begin a broad investigation of St. Louis County police departments, including Ferguson.

The Post says Holder's decision, "will represent the Obama administration's most aggressive step to address the Ferguson shooting."

Meanwhile, two media organizations have filed two separate lawsuits to see Michael Brown's juvenile records. While the records haven't been released, both organizations have different takes from the response.

First, there was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, who reports a lawyer as saying Brown was not facing any "serious felony" convictions when he died - that is, he didn't have any Class A or B felony charges.

The other outlet to file a lawsuit, Got News, is run by a California-based conservative blogger. He disputed the Post-Dispatch's findings, suggesting instead that Brown's stepfather being in a gang might be evidence that Brown himself was in a gang.

Looking at both media organization's lawsuits, The Christian Science Monitor quotes a staff attorney as saying there's a feeling of "blaming the victim" going on: "This feels as if they are searching for something to somehow justify his killing."

While both outlets say they filed the lawsuits to simply find out more about the story on Brown, KSDK reports the Brown family's attorney says the lawsuits have nothing to do with the 18-year-old's shooting. The same was said when footage of Brown in a convenience store was released with the name of the officer who shot him.
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