2020 Dems’ Latest Attack on Obama: His DOJ Bungled the Michael Brown ‘Murder’ Investigation

Warren, Harris stand with activists against Obama officials

• August 12, 2019 2:30 pm


Democratic presidential candidates continue to throw shade on the legacy of former President Barack Obama. They rarely criticize him by name, but many of the 2020 hopefuls have implicitly attacked Obama's record on health care, immigration, and climate change, among other issues.

The latest example of implied criticism, courtesy of two prominent contenders, focuses on the Obama administration's investigation into the controversial police-involved shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass) and Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) marked the five-year anniversary of Brown's death on Twitter by asserting that he was "murdered."

That's not what Barack Obama's Department of Justice concluded after investigating the incident. The federal probe, in addition to the local criminal investigation presented to a grand jury, did not find sufficient evidence to pursue charges against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot Brown. Both largely substantiated Wilson's version of events that Brown reached into his police car and attempted to grab the officer's gun.

The DOJ investigation further concluded that a central detail in the popular narrative surrounding the case — that Brown held his hands up and shouted "don't shoot" — was likely false, and based on testimony from unreliable witnesses. The tweets from Sens. Harris and Warren suggest that Obama's Justice Department failed to address "systemic racism" and "racial equity" in the justice system.

Obama, meanwhile, is reportedly "expressing exasperation" with the Democratic primary candidates attacking his legacy and promoting policies far to the left of those he pursued as president.