Leaked information on Ferguson probe angers attorney general

FERGUSON, Mo. - The Justice Department continues to investigate the fatal shooting of a black man in Ferguson, Mo., by a white police officer. A source told CBS News that Attorney General Eric Holder is "exasperated" by what he called "selective leaks" in the case.

In Ferguson, protests over the shooting death of Michael Brown have intensified in the wake of the most recent leaks.

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Leaks from a Justice Department investigation into the police shooting death of Michael Brown appear to support Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson's account.
CBS News

Those leaks appear to support Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who claims he shot brown in self defense.

Last Friday, The New York Times reported that Wilson told investigators he "feared for his life" after Brown tried to grab his gun, which was fired twice during the struggle in Wilson's car, hitting Brown once in the arm.

Then on Tuesday an official autopsy was published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It showed that Michael Brown had been shot at close range, and that Brown had marijuana in his system when he died.

In an interview with CBS radio station KMOX, former St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch said this about the leaks:

"I think what you're seeing them do is coordinate leaks to the media and to start getting some of the facts out there to kind of let people down slowly," said Fitch. "I think they've recognized that it's probably very unlikely there will be charges."

"Everybody's taking anonymous leaked information to say 'oh, this supports the officer's version,' " said Benjamin Crump, the Brown family attorney. "Michael Brown's family has always said they don't trust any of the local St. Louis authorities.

"They have been asking for a special prosecutor from day one and asking for federal intervention because they don't believe the local officials in St. Louis are going to give equal justice to their child.

CBS News spoke to the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office, local police and the Justice Department and they all say the leaks didn't come from them.

Meanwhile, the grand jury has until January to come to a decision. The local prosecutor says that could happen as early as mid-November.

CBS News Producers Jonathan Blakely & Vidya Singh contributed to this report.

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    Vladimir Duthiers is a CBS News correspondent based in New York at the CBS Broadcast Center.