(CNN) — U.S. Justice Department officials have offered to assist local authorities in Ferguson, Missouri, to help them control crowds “without relying on unnecessarily extreme displays of force,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement Thursday. “The local authorities in Missouri have accepted this offer of assistance as of this afternoon,” he said.
Holder says he’s “deeply concerned” about the law enforcement response to demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri.
“The law enforcement response to these demonstrations must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them,” Holder said. “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,” Holder said in a statement Thursday. “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.”
From more coverage of the crisis in Ferguson, click here.