WASHINGTON — Attorney General Eric Holder says he’s concerned that the use of military equipment by police in Ferguson, Missouri, is sending a “conflicting message.”

Holder said in a statement Thursday that Ferguson law enforcement authorities have accepted the Justice Department’s offer of crowd-control help as it continues to investigate a police officer’s shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

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He said the response by law enforcement to protests there “must seek to reduce tensions, not heighten them.”

The attorney general said representatives from the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service, which works to mediate race disputes, have also been sent to Missouri.

The FBI and Justice Department are conducting a civil-rights investigation into Saturday’s shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Holder said eyewitnesses have already been interviewed.

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