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Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Federal autopsy ordered in Missouri teen's death

By Jim Suhr, Associated Press

Published: Sun, Aug. 17 12:00 a.m. MDT

 Missouri Highway Patrol officers and St. Louis County police stand at the ready in the rain next to the McDonald\

Missouri Highway Patrol officers and St. Louis County police stand at the ready in the rain next to the McDonald"s on W. Florissant in Ferguson on Saturday night, Aug. 16, 2014, several minutes after the curfew started at midnight. Most people on the south end of W. Florissant in the containment area complied with the curfew.

(St. Louis Post-Dispatch, J.B. Forbes, Associated Press)

FERGUSON, Mo. — Attorney General Eric Holder on Sunday ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on a black Missouri teenager whose fatal shooting by a white police officer has spurred a week of rancorous and sometimes-violent protests in suburban St. Louis.

The "extraordinary circumstances" surrounding the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown and a request by Brown's family members prompted the order, Department of Justice spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement.

The examination was to take as soon as possible, Fallon said, adding that the Justice Department still planned to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of its investigation.

As night fell Sunday in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street. Police attempted to push them back by firing tear gas and shouting over a bullhorn that the protest was no longer peaceful.

A preliminary private autopsy found that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, told The New York Times that one of the bullets entered the top of Brown's skull, suggesting that his head was bent forward when he suffered a fatal injury.

Brown was also shot four times in the right arm, and all the bullets were fired into his front, Baden said.

The Justice Department already had deepened its civil rights investigation into the shooting. A day earlier, officials said 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door gathering information in the Ferguson neighborhood where Brown, who was unarmed, was shot to death Aug. 9.

A federally conducted autopsy "more closely focused on entry point of projectiles, defensive wounds and bruises" might help that investigation, said David Weinstein, a former federal prosecutor who supervised the criminal civil rights section of Miami's U.S. attorney's office. The move is "not that unusual," he added.

Federal authorities also want to calm any public fears that no action will be taken on the case, Weinstein said.

Back in Ferguson, the latest clashes erupted three hours before the midnight curfew imposed by Gov. Jay Nixon. It was not clear why officers acted ahead of the deadline for people to be off the street.

Police in riot gear ordered all the protesters to disperse. Many of the marchers retreated, but a group of about 100 stood defiantly about two blocks away until getting hit by another volley of tear gas.

Protesters laid a line of cinder blocks across the pavement near the QuikTrip convenience store that was burned down last week. It was an apparent attempt to block police vehicles, but the vehicles easily plowed through. Someone set a nearby trash bin on fire, and gunshots rang out several blocks away.

Within two hours, most people had been cleared off West Florissant Avenue, one of the community's main thoroughfares.

Earlier in the day, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who agency in now in charge of security in Ferguson, said he had met members of Brown's family and the experience "brought tears to my eyes and shame to my heart."

"When this is over," he told the crowd, "I'm going to go in my son's room. My black son, who wears his pants sagging, who wears his hat cocked to the side, got tattoos on his arms, but that's my baby."

Johnson added: "We all need to thank the Browns for Michael. Because Michael's going to make it better for our sons to be better black men."

The Rev. Al Sharpton told the rally Brown's death was a "defining moment for this country."

Sharpton said he wants Congress to stop programs that provide military-style weaponry to police departments. He said he expects police to "smear" the slain teenager, his family and his attorneys. He also condemned the recent violence and looting in Ferguson.

The protests have been going on since Brown's death heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and the mostly white Ferguson Police Department, leading to several run-ins between police and protesters and prompting Missouri's governor to put the state highway patrol in charge of security.

Ferguson police waited six days to publicly reveal the name of the officer and documents alleging Brown robbed a convenience store shortly before he was killed. Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the officer did not know Brown was a robbery suspect when he encountered him walking in the street with a friend.

Nixon said Sunday on ABC's "This Week" that he was not aware the police were going to release surveillance video from the store where Brown is alleged to have stolen a $49 box of cigars.

"It's appeared to cast aspersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw," Nixon said.

Police have said little about the encounter between Brown and the officer, except to say that it involved a scuffle in which the officer was injured and Brown was shot. Witnesses say the teenager had his hands in the air as the officer fired multiple rounds.

"When you're exhausted, when you're out of resources, when you're out of ammunition, you surrender," Brown's uncle, pastor Charles Ewing, told worshippers during a Sunday sermon at Jennings Mason Temple in Ferguson. "He surrendered and yet he died."

The officer who shot Brown has been identified as Darren Wilson, a six-year police veteran who had no previous complaints against him. Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, and the department has refused to say anything about his whereabouts. Associated Press reporters have been unable to contact him at any addresses or phone numbers listed under that name in the St. Louis area.

Also Sunday, about 150 people gathered in St. Louis to show support for Wilson. The crowd protested outside a TV station because it had broadcast from in front of the officer's home.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the station, KSDK, later apologized. Other in the group, composed mostly of police and relatives of officers, carried signs urging people to wait for all the facts.

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Eric Tucker in Brewster, Massachusetts, contributed to this report.

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Private autopsy shows Michael Brown shot six times, report says

St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MCT)
Aug. 17, 2014
Recommended
1. cjb
Bountiful, UT,
Aug. 17, 2014

Its too bad he had to get shot, but when a grown man hits someone with their fists, they put that person in danger of bodily injury or of losing their life. We all remember or should remember that two soccer referees at different times and and at different games in WVC lost their life by being hit in the head with a fist No one has to put up with that and this policeman chose not to.

Also the policeman said the shooting victim was grabbing for his (the policeman's) gun. That also was putting the policeman's life in danger. This too is justification for the policeman shooting the person attacking him.

2. Sven
Morgan, UT,
Aug. 18, 2014

From the article"

"A preliminary private autopsy found that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York City chief medical examiner, told The New York Times that one of the bullets entered the top of Brown's skull, suggesting that his head was bent forward when he suffered a fatal injury.

Brown was also shot four times in the right arm, and all the bullets were fired into his front, Baden said."

=====

Now this is interesting. I thought Dorian Johnson (Brown's accomplice in the convenience store robbery), and Tiffany Mitchell (a neighbor) said that Officer Wilson shot Michel Brown in the back when Brown was trying to retreat? So, both of these two people got this pertinent fact wrong...really? Hmmm, couldn't be they were trying to set a false narrative now would it? You know, trying to fan the racial fans?

"...one of the bullets entered the top of Brown's skull, suggesting that his head was bent forward when he suffered a fatal injury."

Perhaps lunging at Officer Wilson? These six wounds are not those of a retreating person.

3. Mark B
Eureka, CA,
Aug. 18, 2014

I'm always put on edge when I read something like "..it's a shame, BUT...". All we can conclude so far is that the actual truth still isn't known, and may not be for awhile yet. There must be, for instance, a dozen ways to look at the "top of the head" details.

4. Uncle_Fester
Niskayuna, NY,
Aug. 18, 2014

Why the need for a "federal" autopsy? Does anyone seriously believe that the federal medical examiner is going to discover that something other than getting shot multiple times caused the death? Why are the feds inserting themselves at all?

5. Anti Bush-Obama
Chihuahua, 00,
Aug. 18, 2014

Cjb

So the holy police man couldn't lie about why he shot that person? Do you know that he shot him 6 times in the back? A little excessive for someone who was unarmed don't you think?