Attorney General Holder Is In Ferguson; What Can He Do?

Another night in Ferguson, Missouri started peacefully and ended in violence. Many people took to the streets with arms raised in the now familiar 'hands up don't shoot' stance. It demonstrates their argument that Michael Brown, a black teenager, was surrendering when he was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson.

Overnight, police charged a crowd of demonstrators after objects were thrown at them. Police ordered everyone to leave the area and started arresting those who didn't.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson Wednesday to meet with FBI and other officials investigating Brown's death. Holder said the investigation will be full, fair, and independent.

But 2 Wants to Know looked into what actions the Attorney General reallycouldtake. The Department of Justice website reveals the Attorney General is head of the Department of Justice and chief law enforcement officer in the United States. So, in theory, what he says goes.

The Department of Justice's Justice Management Division Organization, Mission and Function Manual lists the job descriptions of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, and Associate Attorney General.

In Holder's job description, his duties include giving the President and Cabinet legal advice, and representing the U.S. government in the Supreme Court.

But another important role, is that held by James Cole. He's the Deputy Attorney General. Cole is over 25 government components and 93 U.S. attorneys who report directly to him. He assists the Attorney General. But take a look at what else is included in his duties: act as initial contact with the White House on pending criminal matters, coordinate and control the department's reaction to civil disturbances and terrorism, manage high-priority program offices like privacy and civil liberties office, and the faith based and community initiatives task force. All of which could play a role in the events occuring in Ferguson.

Of course, both the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General have several other responsibilities. To read all of their job functions: click here.

WFMY News 2's Faith Abubey is live in Ferguson, Missouri covering the situations as they unfold there. Follow her on Twitter @ReporterFaith for the latest.


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