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Friday, November 21, 2014

DOJ weighs in

Seeming to share my sense of where the burden should lie, Eric Holder released video urging law enforcement and protesters to collaborate on plans to keep the peace should protests occur in Ferguson. He reminded protesters that historically successful movements have relied on nonviolence, while calling on police to seek ways to keep order while respecting constitutional rights.  In addition, DOJ officials spoke with Missouri Governor Jay Nixon about the decision to declare a preemptive state of emergency, calling that an escalation of the situation that "sent the wrong message." DOJ also released a resource guide for policies and training on community policing and handling public protest (although it seems a bit late in the day for that).

This is a good reminder of the unique role that DOJ and the Attorney General can, and sometimes do, play in these sorts of localized conflicts, remaining above the simplified law-enforcement fray.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 21, 2014 at 01:57 PM in Constitutional thoughts, First Amendment, Howard Wasserman | Permalink

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