Huffpost Politics

Hillary Clinton Is Everywhere, But Still Nowhere To Be Found On Ferguson

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn't exactly hiding from the public eye as she plans a trip to Iowa, furthering speculation about whether and when she'll announce plans to seek the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Yet, Clinton hasn't said a word about protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, by a police officer.

Clinton's silence has provoked questions about why she's mum on an issue that other possible 2016 presidential candidates have felt compelled to weigh in on. Those who have spoken on the topic include Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as well as former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R), Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D).

It isn't as if Clinton has shied from delving into the politics of the midterm elections as she plans fundraisers for the major Democratic committees. She has critiqued President Barack Obama's foreign policy approach and spoken out about Israel's offensive in Gaza, the downing of a Malaysia Airlines plane in Ukraine, the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and whether Obama should have armed rebels earlier. And she's appeared across a broad array of cable shows to promote her book, Hard Choices.

But Clinton's calculation appears to be that the Ferguson conflict is one too complex, or dangerous, to address. A Clinton spokesperson did not respond to a HuffPost request for comment Tuesday. (Her camp also declined to comment to MSNBC on Monday.)

Of course Clinton, as a private citizen who holds no public office or elected position, is not obligated to remark on the racial politics surrounding Brown's death, or whether the militarization of America's police forces is a concerning trend. Yet, since Clinton has been willing to comment on an array of other issues, her reticence is noticeable.

Then again, when political figures have waded into the conversation about Ferguson, their comments aren't exactly enthralling. Obama's statement Monday made news for his announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder would travel to Missouri, but otherwise remained dispassionate.

“The [Department of Justice] works for me and when they're conducting an investigation, I've got to make sure that I don't look like I'm putting my thumb on the scale one way or the other,” Obama explained.

The Rev. Al Sharpton called out Clinton, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) on Monday, arguing that they lose credibility by refusing to weigh in on the situation in Ferguson.

“I’m amazed that we’re not hearing from leading [presidential] candidates -- Chris Christie or [former Florida Gov.] Jeb Bush, or Hillary Clinton,” Sharpton said. “This is now a national, central issue, and anyone running for president needs to come up with a formula or -- in my opinion -- they forfeit their right to be taken seriously.”

See updates on the situation in Ferguson below:

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USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor provides an intimate look at how Michael Brown's parents have been dealing with the loss of their son:

Phones constantly ring with reporters asking for interviews or family members offering support. Last week, as demands reached a tipping point, both parents moved into hotels to shield themselves.

In the days leading up to the funeral, Brown's mother continued to cry and spoke in whispers as she tried to explain her feelings.

"They say tomorrow is going to be the hardest day, but I think today was — just seeing my baby laying there, cold," Lesley McSpadden, 34, told USA TODAY. "It did something to my heart. It's too much. It's too much."

Read the rest at USA Today.

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New audio has surfaced that allegedly captures the moment when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9.

CNN aired the unverified recording on Monday night. Six shots can be heard, followed by a pause, then several more. A private autopsy performed on Aug. 17 at the request of Brown's family found that the 18-year-old was shot 6 times, including twice in the head.

Read the rest here.

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USA Today reporter, Yamiche Alcindor shares photo of program which includes tributes to Michael Brown from his mother and father

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08/25/2014 11:57 AM EDT
Program For The Funeral
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08/25/2014 11:04 AM EDT
Noteworthy Funeral Attendees
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08/25/2014 10:58 AM EDT
Waiting For Brown's Family
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08/25/2014 10:57 AM EDT
Police Captain Ron Johnson Arrives
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08/25/2014 10:45 AM EDT
Mo. Sen. To Attend Funeral
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08/25/2014 10:37 AM EDT
Casket In Place

MSNBC reports:

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08/25/2014 10:35 AM EDT
Funeral Security
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08/25/2014 10:33 AM EDT
Brown's Father Asks For Peace
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MSNBC reports:

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08/25/2014 10:26 AM EDT
Hands Up
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08/25/2014 10:22 AM EDT
Sanctuary Filling Fast For Funeral

CNN reports:

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Missouri congressman Lacy Clay (D) said on Thursday that he had "serious concerns" about the prosecutor in charge of Michael Brown's case.

"I also have serious concerns about the local prosecutors, about their ability to fairly prosecute this case in the interests of justice. To deliver justice to this community, or to Michael Brown's family. And I say that because we have a track record," Clay told CNN.

Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch has come under heavy scrutiny in the days following Brown's death. Critics say that McCulloch's ties to law enforcement will cloud his judgement and have called on Governor Jay Nixon (D) to appoint a special prosecutor instead. A petition against him has received over 70,000 signatures.

McCulloch's father was a police officer killed in the line of duty.

For his part, McCulloch has promised that his investigation will be fair and thorough. In a statement, he said:

I have no intention of walking away from the responsibilities and duties entrusted to me by the people of this community. Additionally, there is no basis in the law to do so. I have faithfully and fairly carried out those responsibilities and duties for more than two decades and will continue to do so for at least the next four years.

Nixon has also repeatedly insisted that he won't take McCulloch off the case.

Alana Horowitz

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From HuffPost's Dave Jamieson:

Like the rest of the St. Louis community, including their own teachers, Gateway students had emotional discussions about being black in America, about mistrust of the police, about peaceful demonstration and violent protest. They were asked to write down what they were feeling about Ferguson, with the assurance that no sentiments were out of bounds.

Click here to read excerpts from the responses penned by a group of 7th and 8th graders at the school.

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Washington Post reports that Darren Wilson was injured following a scuffle with Michael Brown before he shot and killed him.

A family friend told WaPo that Wilson's eye bone was fractured. Fox News reported similar information earlier this week, citing a police source.

Another source told CNN that these reports are false.

Last week, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told reporters that Wilson was taken to the hospital following the incident, but did not say for what.

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HuffPost's Arthur Delaney reports:

When Attorney General Eric Holder went to Ferguson, Missouri, on Wednesday, he assured local residents the U.S. Justice Department will swiftly investigate the police killing of an unarmed black teenager on Aug. 9.

In meetings with locals, Holder emphasized how his own past experiences will inform his work overseeing the Justice Department's investigation of Michael Brown's killing. He told students at a community college there that police searched his car when he'd been stopped for speeding on the New Jersey Turnpike.

"I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was and the impact it had on me," Holder said. "The same kid who got stopped on the New Jersey freeway is now the attorney general of the United States."

But Holder's critics point out that this is the same man who was woefully soft on bad cops when he served as Washington, D.C.'s top prosecutor in the mid-1990s.

"Relying on Holder to take action is like sending a guy with a cup of water to put out a wildfire," said Gregory Lattimer, an attorney who has represented family members of people killed by D.C. police, including DeOnte Rawlings, a 14-year-old boy shot in the back of the head by an off-duty officer in 1997.

"[Holder] was part of the problem in D.C., not the solution," Lattimer said. "He says all the right things and then he goes out and defends the status quo."

Read more here.

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