Loretta Lynch is President Obama’s pick to succeed Eric Holder as AG

Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for New York's Eastern District is President Barack Obama's pick to succeed US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, is President Barack Obama’s pick to succeed US Attorney General Eric Holder. President Obama made the announcement at the White House on Saturday, November 8, 2014.

By Carmen Glover

BREAKING:  President Barack Obama announced on Saturday, November 8, from the White House that Loretta Lynch, US Attorney for New York’s Eastern District, is his nominee to succeed outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. The President was flanked by both Holder and Lynch as he made the announcement. If she is confirmed, Lynch will make history as the first African-American female to hold the position. Janet Reno was the only female to have held the position in the past.

“In a country that is built on the rule of honor, there’s no office more important than the Attorney General. The Attorney General is the chief legal officer,” President Obama said, in making the announcement. “I’m enormously grateful to Eric Holder for his service. Thanks to Eric our nation is safer and freer. I couldn’t be prouder today to nominate someone who shares those principles, U.S Attorney Loretta Lynch.” President Obama described lynch as a “charming people person,” who is “not about flash, she’s about substance.”  Thanking Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Judicial Committee, for being present at the nomination on a Saturday morning, President Obama said “It is my hope that the Senate will confirm her without delay.”

“Thank you for your faith in me for asking me to succeed an Attorney General that I admire and serving an office that I love,” said Lynch as she addressed the gathering, amid a phalanx of cameras going off in quick succession. If confirmed, she vowed to wake up each day with “nothing but the protection of the people,” as her main priority. “The Department of Justice is the only Cabinet named for an ideal,” she said, describing herself as “thrilled and humbled,” for the nomination.

Lynch, 55, was appointed as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York by President Obama in May 2010. She was previously appointed to the office in June 1999 by former President Bill Clinton and held the office until May 2001. She was born in Greensboro, North Carolina. She’s a graduate of Harvard Law School and Harvard College. In her role, Lynch overseas federal prosecutions in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Long Island. While earning a reputation as being low-key, she has prosecuted some very high-profile cases, including the civil rights case against police officers who assaulted Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.  Most recently, she met with the family of Eric Garner, who was killed when police officers placed him in an illegal chokehold as he struggled to breathe.–OnPointPress.net.

 

US Attorney General Eric Holder vows to continue ‘the work’ in stunning resignation

Obama holder

President Barack Obama described the resignation of US Attorney General Eric Holder as ‘bittersweet.’ while lauding his expertise, work ethic and achievements in the post.

By Carmen Glover

US Attorney General Eric Holder stood stoic, inscrutable, and unflappable as President Barack Obama lauded his tenure as a prelude to the announcement that he would resign his post, while remaining on the job until his successor is named and confirmed. Calling the moment “bittersweet,” President Obama was solemn, but effusive as he praised Holder’s tireless work ethic and achievements;

“With his typical dedication, Eric has agreed to stay on as attorney general until I nominate a successor and that successor is confirmed by the Senate,” the President said. “All told, Eric has served the Justice Department under six presidents of both parties. Through it all, he’s shown a deep and abiding fidelity to one of our most cherished ideals as a people, and that is equal justice under the law.”

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19:  U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during an announcement at the Justice Department March 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Justice Department announced a deferred prosecution agreement with a $1.2 billion fine regarding Toyota Motor Corporations misleading to its consumers on the unintended acceleration issues in the cars the company manufactured.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 19: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during an announcement at the Justice Department March 19, 2014 in Washington, DC. The Justice Department announced a deferred prosecution agreement with a $1.2 billion fine regarding Toyota Motor Corporations misleading to its consumers on the unintended acceleration issues in the cars the company manufactured. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Pausing to gather his thoughts, the President continued. “I chose him to serve as attorney general because he believes, as I do, that justice is not just an abstract theory, it’s a living and breathing principle. That’s why I made him America’s lawyer, the people’s lawyer. That came with a big portfolio from counterterrorism to civil rights, public corruption to white-collar crime.”

But of all his reach as attorney general, Holder, according to the President was especially proud of “reinvigorating and restoring the core mission to what he calls the conscience of the building and that is the Civil Rights Division.”

eric holder

US Attorney Eric Holder speaks to a resident in Ferguson, Missouri, where he also shared suffering the indignity of being stopped and harassed by racist police officers during his professional career.

After thanking the President, Vice President Joe Biden, Adviser Valerie Jarrett, Department of Justice staff and his family members, Holder made it clear that he would still continue with his mission.

“In the months ahead, I will leave the Department of Justice but I will never leave the work,” he said. “I will continue to serve and try to find ways to make our nation even more true to its founding ideals.”

eric holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder testified before many congressional sessions and endured various forms of harassment which he correctly labeled as ‘racist.’

Addressing the President, Holder said: “We have been great colleagues, but the bonds between us are much deeper than that. In good times and in bad, in things personal and in things professional you have been there for me. I’m proud to call you my friend.”

shockwave gripped certain parts of the country, and the black community in particular, as the news was announced. Who will champion the cause of civil rights in a climate rife with discrimination against black men? Who will pursue justice for unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson? Who will consider appointing an independent prosecutor in the Eric Garner case in New York? The questions came with sharp velocity as the enormity of the decision sunk into people’s collective consciousness and the reality that an era has ended dawned gradually, sadly.

eric holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder greets Ferguson Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson which an exuberant “You are the man!” this summer when he visited the town to soothe nerves after the city was roiled by unrest due to the killing of an unarmed black teenager.

This summer when Holder traveled to Ferguson, Missouri to meet with Brown’s parents, talk to members of the community and proclaim to Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson that “You’re the man!” the hearts of the community felt eased. When Holder shared his experiences with racist police officers his message resonated. People related to him and felt that he could articulate and understand their viewpoint because he has lived it. But now he is leaving his position, the post from which he has fought valiantly to effect meaningful change.

Who will fill his shoes? Will his successor have his passion, burning desire to tackle the wrongs and empower the citizens on the lowest rungs of society? Only time will tell.-OnPointPress.net.

 

The Justice Dept needs to take over the investigation and prosecution in Ferguson

Attorney General Eric Holder has been involved in the Ferguson Police investigation so far.

Attorney General Eric Holder has been involved in the Ferguson Police investigation so far.

After a brief moment of calm, Ferguson continues to be roiled by ongoing unrest as law enforcement officials clash with protestors who are angry that no charges have been filed or arrest made of Darren Wilson, the police officer who executed unarmed teenage Michael Brown. With emotions on edge, and tensions raw, Missouri Governor Ray Nixon called in the National Guard and schools remain closed today. The impasse between the citizens in Ferguson and law enforcement officials show no signs of abating any time soon.

‎Speaking to MSNBC on Friday, August 15, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay described St.Louis prosecutor Bob McCulloch as “out of order” and ill-advised for lashing out at Governor Jay Nixon’s decision to place the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

Mayor Slay was accurate in his assessment of the St. Louis prosecutor, who characterized the governor’s action in placing Captain Ronald Johnson in charge of security as “illegal.”

More frenzy occurred at night as citizens and law enforcement remain at odds.

More frenzy occurred at night as citizens and law enforcement remain at odds.

But apart from the St Louis prosecutor putting his foot in his mouth with his irresponsible statements, his sentiments raise a far more serious question : Can a prosecutor who espouses such bias fairly seek justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was murdered by police officer Darren Wilson?

Tear gas has been used on multiple occasions to disperse crowds; unruly or not.

Tear gas has been used on multiple occasions to disperse crowds; unruly or not.

It is clear that the prosecutor is incapable of being neutral in this matter therefore it is incumbent on US Attorney General Eric Holder to immediately seize control of the investigation and entrust the prosecution of this case to legal minds in his office. Judging from the chaotic and inconsistent statements provided by St. Louis Police chief Jay Belmar when be identified the murderous cop, who has allegedly fled town, it is unlikely that ‎any form of Justice will emerge in this case unless the prosecution is conducted by a special prosecutor or the Department of Justice itself. Regardless of the option that is ultimately chosen it is clear that outside intervention is necessary in order for Btown’s family to obtain justice. –OnPointPress.net.

Across the USA, residents unite to honor victims of police brutality

Highway Patrol chief Ron Johnson eased tensions among the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Highway Patrol chief Ron Johnson eased tensions among the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

By Carmen Glover

Across the United States residents gathered to peacefully protest police brutality in a National Moment of Silence on August 14 at 7:00 p.m.‎ Below are images from select cities.

#NMOS14 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

#NMOS14 at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

The NMOS14 campaign was organized via social media and quickly gathered steam.

#NMOS14 at Union Square in New York City.

#NMOS14 at Union Square in New York City.

Among the many names invoked at various NMOS14 events were Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old murdered by an unnamed police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, which has sparked nationwide protests; Romarley Marley, Eric Garner, Sean Bell, Anthony Baez and Amadou Diallo who were unarmed when they were killed by police officers in New York City; Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager who was killed by overzealous neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in Florida and Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old father who was killed on New Year’s Eve in Oakland, California, inspiring the award-winning movie “Fruitvale Station.”

#NMOS14 in Houston, Texas

#NMOS14 in Houston, Texas

The NMOS14 protesters came together after President Barack Obama took a break from his vacation to address the nation about Brown’s murder and the ongoing clashes between police and protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. US Attorney General Eric Holder also released a statement expressing concern about the situation in Ferguson. Shortly afterwards, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon held a press conference with county executive Charlie Dooley and Captain Ron Johnson, both African-Americans, at his side.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

Unarmed 18-year-old teenager Michael Brown was murdered in Ferguson, Missouri on Saturday, August, sparking uproar and riots.

During the press conference, Nixon announced that he spoke to both President Obama and Attorney General Holder and that he was placing Ferguson’s security in the hands of the Highway Patrol, under Captain Johnson’s leadership. Johnson informed the gathering that he “grew up in Ferguson” while Dooley siad he was “saddened” by what he has seen since Brown’s death. Johnson walked with the protesters, talked to them and the media, and soothed the anger that had erupted when the Ferguson police force deployed officers in riot gear, SWAT teams, tear gas and military weapons to intimidate, harass, bully, beat and arrest the residents and media.-OnPointPress.net.

After US Attorney General issues statement MI Gov places highway patrol in charge of security

US Attorney General Eric Holder issues statement on Unrest in Ferguson , prompting MI Governor to place the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

US Attorney General Eric Holder issues statement on Unrest in Ferguson , prompting MI Governor to place the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

US Attorney General Eric Holder released a statement about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Read the full statement below:

“This morning, I met with President Obama to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri. Like the President, I extend my heartfelt condolences to the family of Michael Brown. While his death has understandably caused heartache within the community, it is clear that the scenes playing out in the streets of Ferguson over the last several nights cannot continue.

For one thing, while the vast majority of protests have been peaceful, acts of violence by members of the public cannot be condoned. Looting and willful efforts to antagonize law enforcement officers who are genuinely trying to protect the public do nothing to remember the young man who has died. Such conduct is unacceptable and must be unequivocally condemned.

By the same token, the law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them. Those who peacefully gather to express sympathy for the family of Michael Brown must have their rights respected at all times. And journalists must not be harassed or prevented from covering a story that needs to be told.

At a time when we must seek to rebuild trust between law enforcement and the local community, I am deeply concerned that the deployment of military equipment and vehicles sends a conflicting message. At my direction, Department officials have conveyed these concerns to local authorities. Also at my direction, the Department is offering – through our COPS office and Office of Justice Programs – technical assistance to local authorities in order to help conduct crowd control and maintain public safety without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force. The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon.

Department officials from the Community Relations Service are also on the ground in Missouri to help convene law enforcement officials and civic and faith leaders to plot out steps to reduce tensions in the community. The latest such meeting was convened in Ferguson as recently as this morning. Over time, these conversations should consider the role that increased diversity in law enforcement can play in helping to build trust within communities.

All the while, the federal civil rights investigation into the shooting incident itself continues, in parallel with the local investigation into state law violations. Our investigators from the Civil Rights Division and U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses on the scene at the time of the shooting incident on Saturday. Our review will take time to conduct, but it will be thorough and fair.”-OnPointPress.net

President Obama addresses Michael Brown’s murder; police kill more black males in MI, LA

President Obama

President Barack Obama releases belated statement on Michael  Brown’s murder in Ferguson, Missouri.

By Carmen Glover

On Tuesday, August 12, US President Barack Obama issued the following statement regarding the police execution of unarmed 18-year-old college-bound male Michael Brown, a resident of Ferguson, a suburb in St. Louis Missouri:

“The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed. I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.”

Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was executed by police.

Unarmed teenager Michael Brown was executed by police.

President Obama came under fire by angry citizens who roundly criticized him for speaking out immediately after news broke that actor Robin Williams committed suicide in his California home‎ but remaining silent about the brutal murder of the unarmed African-American teenager. Brown was killed on the afternoon of Saturday, August 9 while Williams’ suicide was announced on Monday, August 11.

Eric Holder

US Attorney General Eric Holder’s office is investigating the murder.

President Obama’s statement came three days after Brown’s murder, as anger has exploded into ongoing protests, clashes with police officers in Ferguson and refusal by the St. Louis police department to reveal the name of the officer who murdered Brown, as previously promised. In the meantime, various reports have indicated that another black male was shot and killed in St. Louis overnight, a black woman was shot in the head and an unarmed black male was shot and killed in Los Angeles by police.

protest

The murders and shootings have riled up the psyches of African-Americans across the country and has garnered international attention as the open season on black males seem to continue unabated. -OnPointPress.net.

US Attorney General Eric Holder takes on North Carolina’s discriminatory voting rights law

Attorney General Eric Holder

Attorney General Eric Holder

By Carmen Glover

When the Supreme Court struck down the anti-discrimination portion of the Voting Rights Act this past August, it emboldened many states in the south. African- Americans, other minorities and the poor suffered. Before the ink was completely dry on the Supreme Court’s ruling, southern states implemented restrictive voting laws that were designed to disenfranchise African- Americans and the poor. The very groups that endured injustice, beatings, racism, imprisonment and indignities in the long quest to have their rights to vote respected were again disenfranchised. But on Monday, September 30, while all eyes were fixed on Capitol Hill, waiting for renegade Republicans to put the American people first and avoid shutting down the government, another official was working very hard to restore the voting rights of African- Americans, minorities and the poor.

In a purposeful press conference, devoid of theatrics but steeped in the law and justice, Attorney General Eric Holder made it clear that he will not stand by idly while African-Americans, minorities and the poor who reside in North Carolina are deprived of their God-given rights to vote. “The state legislature took extremely aggressive steps to curtail the rights of African-Americans,” Holder said. “This is an intentional step to break a system that was working. It defies common sense. Every level of the Justice Department will never hesitate to do all that we must do to protect the constitutionally guaranteed civil rights of all Americans.”

image

Fifty years ago, Dr Martin Luther King Jr. led a march on Washington for “Jobs and Freedom.” Then, like now, the poor and African-Americans felt disenfranchised. Then, like now, they yearned to be respected; they wanted to benefit from the promises inherent in America’s Declaration of Independence. Utilizing flowery oratory, King spoke eloquently about having a dream, rousing the masses who gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to plead their case for equal rights. As attorney Drew Hansen meticulously details in his powerful book, “The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., And The Speech That Inspired A Nation,” King was murdered while he was still working diligently to ensure that African-Americans were given their civil rights, including the right to vote. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law after King’s death.

It is ironic that as a result of King’s advocacy all those years ago, some changes have occurred to the extent that this county has its first African-American US Attorney General. And in the spirit of Dr King, who once said: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “We must use time creatively in the knowledge that the time is always ripe to do what is right,” Holder did not mince his words when he announced his plans to take the fight directly to North Carolina by challenging an unjust law that unfairly targets African-Americans and the poor. “The Justice Department intends to show that the clear and intended effects of these changes would contract the electorate and result in unequal access to the participation in the political process on account of race,” he said of the discriminatory North Carolina voting law.

Holder outlined his plan to challenge four components of the questionable law: the state’s decision to reduce early voting opportunities, eliminate same day registration during early voting, restrict access to provisional ballots and ensure strict reliance on Government issued identifications while ignoring other valid forms of identification.

North Carolina’s Republican Governor Pat McCrory, who signed the state’s restrictive voting rights law in August, was swift in denouncing Holder’s announcement to protect the voting rights of African-Americans and the poor in that state. “I believe the Federal government action is an overreach and without merit,” he said, barely containing his anger. “I believe that North Carolina is in the mainstream of this issue and it’s the Justice Department that’s working within the fringes.”

For so long, some people have argued that America is now “post racial.” They have postulated that equal rights abound and that Dr King’s dream has been realized. While it is clear that significant progress has been made with some issues, North Carolina’s current restrictive voting rights law is indicative of fact that as far as the right to vote is concerned, things have not changed much and vigilance is needed to ensure continued oversight. With Holder on the case, meaningful results can be expected. -OnPointPress.net