Ferguson's streets are quieter

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Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Some protesters returned to the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, Wednesday evening but in smaller numbers. They marched around a single block as a thunderstorm filled the sky with lightning and dumped rain. Police still stood guard, but many wore regular uniforms rather than riot gear.

Meanwhile, a grand jury has begun hearing evidence to determine whether a white police officer should be charged in the shooting death of a black 18-year-old. A spokesman for a St. Louis County prosecutor says there's no timeline for the process, but it could take weeks.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited Ferguson, where he sought to reassure people about the investigation into Michael Brown's death. Holder said he understands why many black Americans do not trust police, recalling how he himself was repeatedly stopped by officers who seemed to target him because of his race.

Holder also met with federal officials investigating Brown's death and with Brown's parents.

The Justice Department has mounted an unusually swift and aggressive response to Brown's death, conducting an independent autopsy and sending dozens of FBI agents to Ferguson in search of witnesses to the shooting.

(Copyright 2014. The Associated Press.)

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