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US attorney general tells Ferguson community he understands why some blacks mistrust police

  • Holder Police Shooting Missouri-1.jpg

    Attorney General Eric Holder during his meeting at the FBI building in St. Louis, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Holder has told Ferguson community leaders that he has assigned the federal government's "most experienced agents and prosecutors" to the investigation of a white police officer's fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool) (The Associated Press)

  • Holder Police Shooting Missouri-2.jpg

    Attorney General Eric Holder speaks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake's Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Holder arrived in Missouri on Wednesday, a small group of protesters gathered outside the building where a grand jury could begin hearing evidence to determine whether a Ferguson police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown should be charged in his death. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool) (The Associated Press)

  • 8f589f1fafc45c205d0f6a706700f636.jpg

    Attorney General Eric Holder stops to shake hands with a patron at Drake's Place Restaurant, before his meeting with local community leaders, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Holder arrived in Missouri on Wednesday, a small group of protesters gathered outside the building where a grand jury could begin hearing evidence to determine whether a Ferguson police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown should be charged in his death. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool) (The Associated Press)

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has told members of the Ferguson community that as a black man he understands why many African-Americans mistrust the police.

During a private meeting with about 50 community leaders at the Florissant campus of St. Louis Community College, Holder shared personal experiences. He recalled the humiliation of twice having his car searched on the New Jersey turnpike after being pulled over and accused of speeding.

Holder was in suburban St. Louis to provide federal oversight in the investigation into the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old fatally shot by a white police officer. Nightly protests — some of them violent — have followed.

Holder said the "eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson," where the shooting took place.

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