U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder brought President Obama’s greetings and “best wishes” to a community forum held at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA, on Monday night. The event was organized by Rev. Raphael Warnock in response to the continuing outrage over the Ferguson grand jury’s decision to not indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed Michael Brown.
The event, which was scheduled to begin at 7 pm EST, got off to a late start due to Holder’s delayed arrival: the attorney general had just finished a meeting with President Obama and other civic and religious leaders in Washington on how to improve relations between communities and local law enforcement. Holder got loud cheers and applause from the capacity crowd at Ebenezer when he said the federal investigation into the death of Michael Brown and the police tactics used against Ferguson protesters was still ongoing.
Holder also unveiled four things President Obama’s administration would be doing to address the racially charged climate that was renewed in the wake of the Ferguson ruling, namely: (1) The White House would soon release a report outlining the appropriate use and distribution of surplus military equipment for police; (2) The President supports the universal use of body cameras by police officers and would invest $263 million for 50,000 such cameras; (3) The Justice Department would announce updated guidelines regarding profiling by law enforcement; (4) The President created a task force on 21st century policing.
Holder was interrupted about midway through his 30-minute speech by a group of loud protesters who were led out of the auditorium without further incident.
Watch Holder’s full speech below.
Other speakers at the event included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, U.S. Attorney Sally Yates, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Rev. Bernice King, and Pastor Frank Brown of the Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta. After the speakers, the floor was opened for a time of community discussion.
Watch the full video from the community forum on BCNN3.TV.