Holder: I'm Attorney General, 'But I Am Also a Black Man'

In Ferguson, he says we need 'concrete action' on race, not just talk

By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 21, 2014 9:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – In his visit to Ferguson, Mo., yesterday, Eric Holder told residents that he understands their frustration about police. "I am the attorney general of the United States," he said. "But I am also a black man,” Holder recounted being stopped by police on a Washington street while he and his cousin ran to catch a movie, reports Politico. "I was a federal prosecutor," he said. "I wasn't a kid." He also recalled being pulled over twice in New Jersey and accused of speeding as cops searched his car, reports Fox News.

"I remember how humiliating that was and how angry I was," he told the crowd, and later in the day said, "We can make it better." While he praised the "good dialogue" going on about race relations, he added that "dialogue is not enough. We need concrete action to change things in this country." Holder also met with Michael Brown's parents for about 20 minutes and promised a "fair and independent" investigation. Meanwhile, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said last night was "a very good night" in Ferguson, with just six arrests, reports the AP.

Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol speaks after meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.
Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol speaks after meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
Attorney General Eric Holder, center, meets with Special Agent in Charge William P. Woods, left, and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Molly Moran, at the FBI building in St. Louis.
Attorney General Eric Holder, center, meets with Special Agent in Charge William P. Woods, left, and Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Molly Moran, at the FBI building in St. Louis.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, 25, right, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley in Ferguson, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.
Attorney General Eric Holder shakes hands with Bri Ehsan, 25, right, following his meeting with students at St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley in Ferguson, Mo., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool)
Attorney General Eric Holder during his meeting at the FBI building in St. Louis, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.
Attorney General Eric Holder during his meeting at the FBI building in St. Louis, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
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