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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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August 20th, 2014
05:24 PM ET

Church 'safe haven' organizers in town near Ferguson claim police harassment

(CNN) – There are no announced plans for President Obama to visit Ferguson, Missouri.

But now, 11 days after a white police officer, Darren Wilson, fatally shot unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown in the street, a member of the Obama administration, Attorney General Eric Holder, is in Ferguson meeting with the FBI, community leaders, students, and law enforcement.

Holder met with highway patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is tasked with coordinating authorities, after police were accused of heavy-handed tactics.

"You are the man," Holder told Johnson, hugging him.

The attorney general is walking into the middle of an enormously tense situation. Just today, CNN was at a church next door to Ferguson in Dellwood, where the highway patrol confirmed St. Louis County police officers came to a school.

Organizers at the church said the police had a building inspector with them, and accused them of letting people sleep there, in violation of the building code.

These organizers say that while things have been running late these last few nights, they are not letting anyone sleep there. The school has been serving as a safe haven, offering medical help for people who have been tear gassed during protests.

"We have first aid kits, we actually have organizers that come here to meet to talk about how to deescalate angers and tensions," community activist Aaron Burnett told CNN.

The police have "been intimidating us for the last couple of nights," Burnett said.

Organizers at the church also said that officers came through last night with semi-automatic weapons, and they're threatening to come back tonight.

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