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Focus In Cop-Killing Cases Shifts From Grand Juries To Feds

Publication Date: 2014-12-07
Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Professor Robert Weisberg weighs in on grand jury decisions in Ferguson, MO and Staten Island, NY for The San Francisco Chronicle.

The decisions by grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y., not to indict police for killing unarmed black men shift the spotlight to outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, who is looking into both cases and has vigorously investigated and prosecuted local police during his six years in the Obama administration.

But federal charges appear more likely in Staten Island, where the choking death of Eric Garner was recorded on video, than in Ferguson, where eyewitnesses gave conflicting accounts of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.


“Cop-killing cases are really hard to win because the self-defense argument starts off being inherently plausible,” said Robert Weisberg, a Stanford criminal law professor.

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