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Democratic governor on Ferguson: 'Of course I wanted to see an indictment


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick (D-Mass.) said Sunday that while he wasn't aware of all the facts in the case, he would have preferred to have seen Office Darren Wilson indicted for shooting and killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

"Look, without knowing all the facts, of course I wanted to see an indictment, mostly because I think a trial and the transparency of a trial would be good for the community," Patrick said on Meet the Press Sunday.

"And because so many of us have the supposition that police officers are not going to be held accountable, and are not going to have to answer for the shooting of unarmed, young, black teenagers," he said.

Patrick was assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division under President Bill Clinton. He was also thought to be a possible successor to Attorney General Eric Holder, but Patrick said in September that he would

Instead, Obama nominated New York federal prosecutor Loretta Lynch, who would become the first black woman to hold the job.

The job of the grand jury in Missouri was not to decide whether Officer Wilson was guilty of a crime, but was instead to decide whether there was enough evidence to proceed with a criminal trial against Wilson. The grand jury ultimately decided against an indictment, based on testimony that Brown repeatedly attacked Wilson.

The grand jury's decision led to more protests and rioting in and around Ferguson, and in dozens of other cities around the country.

While many Democrats said they were disappointed in the decision, President Barack Obama said it must be respected. Patrick agreed on Sunday.

"But the facts and the process, as the president says, does have to be respected," he said. "That is separate and apart from the anxiety so many black people have about encounters with law enforcement, the anxiety that some in law enforcement have about their encounters with black people, and a startling lack of understanding between the two."

The Justice Department is continuing to investigate whether Wilson violated Brown's civil rights, but most agree it will likely be very difficult to bring federal charges against Wilson. Patrick agreed, but said it is "very important" that the Justice Department continue investigating.

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