LOS ANGLES, Calif. --The U.S. Department of Justice will conduct an independent review of the Johannes Mehserle case in order to determine whether or not the shooting merits federal prosecution, according the department.
"The Justice Department has been closely monitoring the state's investigation and prosecution," the department said in a statement.
"The Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office, and the FBI have an open investigation into the fatal shooting and, at the conclusion of the state's prosecution, will conduct an independent review of the facts
and circumstances to determine whether the evidence warrants federal prosecution."
Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said she has been in touch with the justice department. "I remain in close contact with the Department of Justice and will continue to work with them, the family and the community in the days ahead," she said in a statement.
The statement also addressed local reactions to the Mehserle verdict. "Understandably there is grave concern in the community," Lee said. "However, during this time our city must come together peacefully so that we can begin to heal."
Lee said she stands with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums, the City Council and community leaders in supporting people who want to express themselves.