WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. vowed a firm response on Friday to what he called “appalling” racial misconduct by law enforcement officials in Ferguson, Mo., suggesting he was prepared to seek the dismantling of the police force there if necessary.
“We are prepared to use all the powers that we have, all the power that we have, to ensure that the situation changes there,” Mr. Holder told reporters here after returning from Columbia, S.C., where he appeared with President Obama at a town hall-style meeting at Benedict College. “That means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure.”
Asked if that included dismantling the police force, Mr. Holder said: “If that’s what’s necessary, we’re prepared to do that.”
His remarks came after two police supervisors in Ferguson resigned after being linked to racist emails turned up by a Justice Department investigation.