10/24/2014 07:33 pm ET Updated Dec 24, 2014

Attorney General Eric Holder 'Exasperated' By Leaks In Michael Brown Case


(Updates with further comments from Holder)

By Julia Edwards

WASHINGTON, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday that he expects the Justice Department's investigation into the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, to be complete by the time he leaves office.

Holder, who was speaking at a news event in Los Angeles, last month announced his resignation but said he would not leave until his replacement was chosen and confirmed by the Senate. The Obama administration is expected to announce a nominee to replace him by the end of the year.

Brown's death sparked angry protests across the St. Louis suburb and has drawn global attention to race relations in the United States.

Holder's legacy as attorney general, a position he has held since the start of the Obama administration, has been largely shaped by his vocal advocacy for racial justice.

Holder also said he was "exasperated" to see leaks earlier this week from the grand jury reviewing the case locally. The leaked information indicated that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, was acting in self-defense.

"It appears that people are somehow trying to shape public opinion," Holder said.

In addition to the criminal investigation into Wilson's actions, the Justice Department is also conducting a civil investigation into the patterns and practices of the Ferguson Police Department. (Reporting by Julia Edwards; Editing by Sandra Maler and Eric Beech)