US Attorney General Meets with FBI Agents Conducting an Investigation in Ferguson

A grand jury is set to begin hearing evidence as to whether Officer Darren Wilson will face criminal charges for the shooting death of Michael Browne.
13:32 | 08/20/14

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Transcript for US Attorney General Meets with FBI Agents Conducting an Investigation in Ferguson
Hello I'm -- can -- in Washington attorney general Eric Holder has arrived in Missouri and he'll be meeting with FBI agents conducting their own investigation. Into the August 9 shooting of unarmed teen at Michael Brown. Holder -- after an eleventh night of protests in the streets of Ferguson. -- at this time we've been seeing a different dynamic Missouri Highway Patrol captain Ron Johnson is crediting volunteers local clergy and community activist. For keeping the scenes mostly nonviolent last night no Molotov cocktails from protesters no tear gas and returned from police. There -- however 47. Arrest and cops did clash with some protesters after a plastic water bottle was thrown in their direction. And all of this as a grand jury is set to begin hearing evidence sometime today. And that proceeding will ultimately decide if officer Darren Wilson will face criminal charges we -- to -- Gonzales. Yeah officers say last night it was a turning point and now the case that sparked the turmoil here. He's about to move forward. Today a grand jury will begin hearing evidence in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The county prosecutor telling ABC radio affiliate KT RS it could take them until mid October to decide if officer Darren Wilson shown in this newly released video should be charged for killing the unarmed -- eleven days ago. Wilson is being given the option to testify and share his side of the story. He has been vilified in the in the media invited politicians and we felt it was necessary that we had to -- -- And and just ask for due process for -- Today attorney general Eric Holder arrived here -- Ferguson to meet with federal agents investigating the shooting that is triggered the ongoing outrage here. They don't get a lot is don't vote now. -- last night was tense but less chaotic than earlier this week. Yeah -- tear gas no shots fired despite police recovering three loaded guns and having bottles thrown at them. Yeah. Following up yeah. Officers say this made a difference residents joining hands standing between angry protesters and. Bears are common piece I believe there -- the jury appointment. Last night 47 people were arrested -- -- -- the night before and so far here today in his life. We're live Ferguson Missouri Marcy Gonzales ABC news now back to you. And -- was ABC's -- Gonzales reporting let's go live now to ABC's Alex -- who is also on the ground Aaron Ferguson so Alex. What do you expect attorney general Eric Holder to do when he arrives there at the scene of these protests. Play by city attorney general and his team arrived here just about fifteen minutes ago or so in the first order of business for them will be. To meet with community leaders and then from that he's going to meet with his team here they have about forty FBI agents. But -- on the ground for several days now and we have to remember there -- two simultaneous investigations going on here there's this state and prosecutor local authorities have their investigation and then. The Department of Justice civil rights division has launched their own investigations of the attorney general will be here meeting with many of his investigators who have been on the ground. But also we have to remember that this is the highest ranking law enforcement official in the country who happens to be African American. So part of his arrival here some believe that is do not meet with the community here but also possibly. Tried to quell some of the violence that we've seen the last couple of days. Perhaps people knowing that someone of his level he's here investigating this case -- help calm and ease some of the tensions here. And I want to know there's a grand jury that will be looking into whether the police officer in the shooting will face charges. Even idea how long that process could take how long before a grand jury makes a decision. Well here's a situation with the grand jury we don't. Always no specifics about how things are going to happen there. We know that prosecutors are going to attempt to present some evidence of them today but how long that will take we don't know exactly we know the prosecutor today on a local radio stations that. He expects that process could take into the middle of October the could be more -- could be less time so we don't know just yet. But we believe it's going to begin today so that's a step forward for so many in this community who have been calling. For an investigation in this case. Absolutely. What can you give us some idea of what you think happened last night that -- change the situation on the ground there with protesters. What what's so different. That we didn't see tear gas again that there were fewer arrests and it was just generally more com. Let's -- positive for the first time in in several days beings were actually -- last night there was still protesters and demonstrators out there. But things did not escalate the level they had in the last of one -- and one of the things that we have notices that last night there were more community. Residents out a lot of the older residents -- -- and they themselves are trying to encourage people to remain peaceful so authorities believe that maybe perhaps made a big difference. But also again we saw police officers out there with the crowds letting them know that they're there to. To keep the calm and not to stop the demonstrations and perhaps things just went over a little bit differently yesterday the crowd understood -- took it all in a little bit differently yesterday. And that the violence is wasn't there the way it was the last couple of days. It certainly good to see an improvement in that situation and yet there still were -- clashes. At you know for sure what provoked the violence that we did see and and the arrest that there were last night. Well you know that's always difficult question to answer because you have what the protesters and demonstrators today. And of course we have the official account from authorities on specifics as to what happened yesterday we don't know just yet we know that the last couple of days he's been. Animosity between protesters who. Really what kind of free range in that area and then authorities were trying to keep calm and peace in the area especially during the overnight hours. We know there were reports. Last night. Some of the protesters tossing plastic bottles plastic bottles filled with -- we understand for tossed out the police officers and that's one of the conflict. Also there -- reports that some of the people some of the protesters who were out there were actually threatening the police officers. Apparently according to authorities someone said they would kill a police officer. To that of course escalated the situation. Last night but luckily things last night did not get anywhere near the way they have been the last couple. Certainly ABC's Alex Perez in Ferguson thank you so much for your reporting on this -- And we are doing now also from Ferguson by Missouri State senator Maria Chappelle Nadal. Senator thanks for joining us. How is the community responding think it's pretty general Eric -- arrival today. I have to tell you that my constituents are very happy that Eric Holder is here and Ferguson Missouri today. Finally we get some order and -- just as. The mere fact that he's here it means that there's more transparency. And we have an opportunity -- equal justice. -- very -- specific that you're hoping to hear from the attorney general. Yes one of the things that I'm really happy to hear is that day -- met have expanded the investigation. Into looking at what Saint Louis -- police officers as well as the departments the police department of artists and what they have done in their behavior. As many of your audience knows the first few days after the looting. We -- tear gas and there was no I timeframe in which we were told that we -- going to be tear -- and we are demonstrating. And peace and sell as many M. That people in this community around the world now there was excessive force. That many of the police officers as as -- now. Eight -- weaponry that is typically use when -- in war if you're in Iraq or Afghanistan. And many of their rights of my constituents as well as myself. We were taken. Back when our first amendment rights were infringed upon last week and I hope that Eric Holder -- some kind of measured balance back to you. The state of Missouri so that. -- office holder is going to take away our our fundamental right to express ourselves. We did see scenes there from Ferguson there were slightly calmer last night what can you tell us about how the situation has evolved there on the ground. And you think it's fair to say last night was possibly a turning point. Well -- I have to say and very pleased about. What went on last night I have to say it it was the second most peaceful day -- we've had. Since last week Thursday being the first peaceful day. And while there are some people who have been arrested -- had -- his then two groups of folks the majority who have been. Peaceful protesters. And a small portion of folks who have only had be the inclination to incite. Protesters and to attacked police officers and we don't condone that type of behavior. So I'm glad that we've been able to work with the Missouri Highway Patrol in others so that we can bring order. Again we have an interest end peacefully protest -- while seeking chest as for Michael Brown senior and his family. Now there's a grand jury and that could begin actually could begin their work today could begin hearing evidence today. But we're learning that they won't need some time to do -- work that it could be mid October before they make a decision. Are you concerned that that decision taking that long it could create more problems. Well here's what my constituents say. They want full transparency. -- and read part of the way as long as there's full transparency and each side has an opportunity -- you. Give and provide information. I think we're fine but here's the deal where had been stabbed -- testing. This community a lot of the young people they see themselves as Michael Brown. So every single day we are -- to have peaceful. Demonstrations. And we'll tell you this morning when I started protesting at 6 AM there RD a group of five or six people. Who are already -- testing overnight and they're still there. At our ground zero number TO. And -- we're neck and -- this community sees this as an opportunity to seek justice so this will not happen ever again. And -- city -- Ferguson or in the region. And senator -- a lot of people who are now calling for the local prosecutor -- Bob McCullough. To be removed from this case what is your opinion on that issue. You know while I -- -- friends Bob McCullough. My constituents who I served. They want him to be -- -- this case. And really what's going a nine as a cat and mouse game between the governor and Bob McCullough the governor has full authority to remove. Bob McCullough Bob McCullough says if the governor removes them. Arab remiss and that it's okay that's what this feeling what the community once. And as we've seen -- the casting and throughout his entire career the governor -- there has taken no position. Or taken -- position in the eleventh hour and I think really what he's trying to deal Israel -- -- ability friend is himself. And if it is a case that officer Wilson is not convicted of the crime of of killing Michael Brown junior. Then the governor does not want to have that that responsibility on his hands what we have said as senators and on both sides. Democrat and Republican. Is that the governor has blood on his hands and if he doesn't act right now and snow said he has a little bit of gumption encouraged. -- -- -- all the respect of the people in the state of Missouri. And just for clarity senator venue believe the governor should pull Bob -- off this case and appoint another prosecutor. Absolutely. This is again what the community -- and this is what Bob -- is asking for. The governor has a full authority and responsibility. To remove -- and a state emergency at this point so the governor has the wherewithal to -- what the community -- in this kind of situation. It is a state of emergency and for the governor not to act and to ignore his constituents and -- by the way let me digress for a second. He still has yet come to ground zero. He has not talked to the people who are affected by events. He's then in surrounding. Municipalities he's been at the command center. But he has not yet come to ground zero to listen to my constituents. And listen to their pain and anger and so that's one of the reasons why we are going to continue. To peacefully protest and winter without the governor we are going to move forward -- We are seeking justice and that's why it's so important that Eric -- -- there is here because he is Manning up. Doing his responsibility. Where the governor it has failed -- show that he is courageous enough to do his job. All right Missouri State senator Maria Chappelle Nadal thanks for joining us. And you can keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news -- and starting this story. For exclusive updates while you're on the go for now on -- cannot meet in Washington.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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