WEST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The U.S. Department of Justice is set to release its third and final review today following the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri after the death unarmed teenager Michael Brown. Brown, who was black, was killed last year during a confrontation with a white police officer.
Bob McCulloch, who was the prosecutor in that case, was in Connecticut today. He and renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee both spoke at the University of New Haven’s annual Markle Symposium.
The discussion this year focuses on police-involved shootings. McCulloch discussed what happened in Ferguson and the rules when it comes to police involved shootings. He talked about the impact the Michael Brown case has had on police departments across the nation. He says there’s a lot that police across the country can learn from it and he hopes those lessons can prevent future police involved shootings.
A grand jury and the Justice Department did not prosecute the police officer who was involved in the shooting in Ferguson. Michael Brown’s death started months of unrest there.
The Department of Justice has been studying what happened. Its first two reports cited problems with police practices and response to protests.
“They’re always good at looking at things and telling you how you should have done it,” said McCulloch. “In most cases they haven’t done it themselves. We’ll wait and see what they did on this. Everybody is always looking to improve, improve what you do, change things that need to be changed.”
McCulloch says one of the things he learned was the power of social media. He says shortly after the shooting there were several different versions of what happened posted online – and most were wrong.