Holder discusses police mistrust outside Ferguson

By CONNIE CASS and JESSE J. HOLLAND | August 20, 2014 | 6:35 PM EDT

Attorney General Eric Holder during his meeting at the FBI building in St. Louis, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. Holder has told Ferguson community leaders that he has assigned the federal government's "most experienced agents and prosecutors" to the investigation of a white police officer's fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has told members of the Ferguson community that as a black man he understands why many African-Americans mistrust the police.

During a private meeting with about 50 community leaders at the Florissant campus of St. Louis Community College, Holder shared personal experiences. He recalled the humiliation of twice having his car searched on the New Jersey Turnpike after being pulled over and accused of speeding.

Holder was in suburban St. Louis to provide federal oversight in the investigation into the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old fatally shot by a white police officer. Nightly protests — some of them violent — have followed.

Holder said the "eyes of the nation and the world are watching Ferguson," where the shooting took place.