U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder met privately Wednesday with the parents of Michael Brown, part of a one-day swing through the region by the nation’s top law enforcement official in the wake of 12 nights of riots and strife.
The stated purpose of Holder’s visit was to get a first-person update from Department of Justice officials here on the status of the pending federal investigation into Brown’s Aug. 9 shooting death by a Ferguson police officer. After meeting with his own St. Louis-based underlings, Holder met with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and key members of the state’s congressional delegation, including both its U.S. senators.
But the trip also had a clear tone-setting component, designed to show the White House is taking the Ferguson conflict seriously, in the hope of easing tension in the community.