McGuireWoods Washington, D.C., partner George Terwilliger, a former federal
prosecutor and deputy attorney general, said in a nationwide Fox News interview
aired July 10 that thorough federal and state investigations into recent
police-involved shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota take time but will bring
forth necessary facts about both incidents.
Terwilliger said the investigations are essential to determine what happened
last week in Baton Rouge and near St. Paul when two African-American men were
fatally shot. First reports about those shootings, followed by a July 7 attack
in Dallas that left five police officers dead, have left the nation on edge.
Impartial, methodical finding of facts will provide the nation with a full
understanding of the tragedies, he said.
“Whether it’s a federal or local investigation, at the end of the day the
public becomes pretty well informed about what the results of those
investigations are. I think the important thing is for everybody — the public,
political figures — to withhold judgment on these situations until those facts
are in,” Terwilliger said. “Oftentimes, we see a little bit of a video snippet
or something from a few witnesses, but then when we get all the facts . . .
things certainly can look very different,” he added.
“Investigations that are conducted fairly send a message to the law
enforcement officers: ‘Look, we support you, but we’re going to deal with those
circumstances that arise, unfortunately, from time to time where officers may
get outside the law,’ ” he said. “Sometimes it’s a mistake, sometimes it’s bad
judgment, sometimes it’s intentionally bad conduct. Intentionally bad conduct
that violates the law has to be prosecuted.”
To view the full interview, click