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Michael Brown Shooting

Attorney General Loretta Lynch: Ferguson ‘Opened the Eyes of America’

Atty. General: Ferguson Undergoing Great Change Since Mike Brown Death 1:40

A year after Michael Brown's death, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said she believes the attention the shooting cast on Ferguson gave a voice to people all over the country who have long felt they are not respected by authorities.

Lynch said she thinks the relationship between law enforcement and citizens in Ferguson, Missouri, have improved since Michael Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer on Aug. 9, 2014, sparking protests in that town and nationwide. But, she said, "I believe that they are still undergoing a great change."

Tune into Melissa Harris-Perry on MSNBC at 10 a.m. ET Sunday for more of her interview with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch

A Department of Justice report following Brown's death showed a pattern of racially-biased policing and civil rights violations in Ferguson. Many of the traffic stops and enforcement of minor violations were driven by an attempt to generate revenue through fines, the report said.

In the wake of the report, the city saw a wave of government officials resign, and last month, a new interim police chief was appointed. Lynch said Ferguson wasn't the only city impacted after Brown's death and the subsequent scathing report.

"I think that the importance of that report was that it showed the world what people in Ferguson and similar situations had been saying for years," Lynch said. "They just weren't believed because it was ... outside the reality of people who didn’t share the situation or didn’t share their background or hadn’t had those experiences happen to them," she said.

The report following Brown's death and the response that followed — from both officials and residents — shed light on an underlying issue that wasn't limited to Ferguson, Lynch said.

"I think it opened the eyes of America and frankly, the world, to what many minorities are saying when they talk about feeling a level of disrespect and a lack of inclusion in their own government," she said.