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Attorney General Eric Holder, one of President Obama’s longest-serving and most controversial deputies, is taking the lead in the federal government’s response to the roiling tensions in a St. Louis suburb over the police shooting of an unarmed man.
While the president, who is in Washington for two days of meetings, returns Tuesday evening to his family vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Holder will head to Ferguson, Mo., where protests continue to give way to riots and looting on a nightly basis – straining law enforcement previously accused of being heavy-handed in their response.
From the White House, Obama is keeping a reserved tone by calling for calm on both sides, urging protesters to stay peaceful and police to show restraint. But at the Justice Department, Holder is committing what is being described as an “extraordinary” effort to investigate the local case.