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Eric Holder Blasts 'Damn Punk' for Shooting of Two Police Officers in Ferguson

Eric Holder Blasts 'Damn Punk' for Shooting of Two Police Officers in Ferguson

"Such senseless acts of violence..."

Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday blamed a "damn punk" for the Wednesday night shooting of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri, and said the event puts at risk the police reforms the Obama administration and others have been hoping to implement.

"What happened last night was a pure ambush," he told reporters. "This was a damn punk, punk, who was trying to sow discord in an area that is trying to get its act together."

Attorney General Eric Holder condemned the Wednesday shooting of two Ferguson, Missouri police officers. Image: AP Photo/Selma Times-Journal, Alaina Denean

Earlier in the day, he said in a press release that the shooting of the two police officers was "inexcusable and repugnant."

"I condemn violence against any public safety officials in the strongest terms, and the Department of Justice will never accept any threats or violence directed at those who serve and protect our communities — from this cowardly action, to the killing of an officer in Philadelphia last week while he was buying a game for his son, to the tragic loss of a deputy U.S. Marshal in the line of duty in Louisiana earlier this week."

"Such senseless acts of violence threaten the very reforms that nonviolent protesters in Ferguson and around the country have been working towards for the past several months," he added.

Ferguson has experienced increased tensions between residents and police since last summer's police shooting of Michael Brown. That led to rioting and a federal investigation that eventually found racial bias within the Ferguson Police Department.

Earlier Wednesday, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson resigned over the results of that investigation.

Reports out of Ferguson indicated that the shooting of two cops appeared to be related to the tensions that have plagued the city for the last seven months. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the officers were "shot just because they were police officers."

The two officers received "very serious" injuries, but both were expected to survive the shooting. Holder said the Department of Justice may help investigate this shooting as well.

"We wish these injured officers a full and speedy recovery," he said. "We stand ready to offer any possible aid to an investigation into this incident, including the department's full range of investigative resources."

"And we will continue to stand unequivocally against all acts of violence against cops whenever and wherever they occur," he said.

Editor's note: This post and headline have been updated with additional comments from Holder.

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