November 27, 2014


Missouri governor sends National Guard to Ferguson

People protest Sunday for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. As night fell Sunday in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

People protest Sunday for Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer last Saturday in Ferguson, Mo. As night fell Sunday in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to Ferguson early Monday, hours after police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets following a week of demonstrations against the fatal police shooting of a black Missouri teenager.

In a statement, Nixon said the National Guard would help “in restoring peace and order” to the St. Louis suburb that has been filled almost nightly with angry, defiant crowds since 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed Aug. 9.

“These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes,” Nixon said.

The latest confrontations came the same day Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform a third autopsy on Brown. A preliminary private autopsy found the unarmed teen was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Results of a state-performed autopsy have not been released.

As night fell in Ferguson, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated after marchers pushed toward one end of a street and authorities — who said they were responding to reports of gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails — pushed them back by repeatedly firing tear gas. The streets were empty well before a state-imposed curfew took effect at midnight.

“Based on the conditions, I had no alternative but to elevate the level of response,” said Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is command in Ferguson.

At least two people were wounded in shootings by civilians, he said.

The “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding Brown’s death and a request by his family prompted the Justice Department’s decision to conduct another autopsy, agency spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement earlier Sunday. The results would be taken into account along with the state examination in the Justice Department’s ongoing civil rights investigation into the shooting, Fallon said.

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

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

A federally conducted autopsy “more closely focused on entry point of projectiles, defensive wounds and bruises” might help the Justice Department’s 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.

Sunday’s clashes in Ferguson erupted three hours before the midnight curfew imposed by a day earlier by Nixon.

Officers in riot gear ordered all 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 street 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 the crackle of gunfire could be heard from several blocks away.

Within two hours, most people had been cleared off West Florissant Avenue, one of the community’s main thoroughfares. The streets remained quiet as the curfew began. It was to remain in effect until 5 a.m.

Earlier in the day, Johnson 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 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 who shot Brown 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.

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.

About 150 people gathered in St. Louis on Sunday 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 station, KSDK, later apologized on its website. Others in the group, composed mostly of police and relatives of officers, carried signs urging people to wait for all the facts in the shooting case.

  • Sis Delish

    The Autopsy Report preliminary sketches reveal ALL shots hit on the victims Right Side. The Shooter obviously was pulling the trigger in an aggressive way as one would expect if danger was eminent. Also, none of the shots entered the rear or posterior portion of the body, defining the direction of the two parties to each other.

    Private autopsy finished. Let’s see what influence the Feds have on the same.

    P.S. The C-T changed this story from an Autopsy Headline to the current one after the Above Comments were posted. Why?

  • Jack Wolf

    Police, like the military, only know how to respond to problems with guns and force. Another avenue must be pursued if calm is to be restored.

    • Pablo Jones

      Like those in the community need to stop rioting and those that traveled down there need to go back home. The police aren’t doing the rioting. Saying the government needs to find another way to restore order is like a fat guy at a buffet saying something needs to be done in the country to help fat people like him.

      Get the people off the streets and everything will stop. Establish a 9pm curfew for people with no business being out. Detain them until morning and then let them go. They will eventually stop.

      • 2Cents

        Exactly . . . I believe they tried that passive approach and we see where that got them.

        If I am sent to break up a knife fight I’m taking my gun — the biggest one I have.

      • Jack Wolf

        You’re right, the police are doing the shooting. And, what you propose sounds like a “police state” rather that America. I guess next you’ll want everyone to carry “papers”.

        • stillsleepyeyes

          i’m sure everyone already has id’s………….social security numbers……….passports…………are these not papers already?

          • Sis Delish

            He’s referring to reefer rollers…

        • Pablo Jones

          And the “protesters”, rioters, are breaking the law. Civil protests don’t take place after dark. The police are there to enforce law and order. The rioters are taking away from the people that are truly trying to make a point.

          • Jack Wolf

            Maybe if they had meaningful jobs with sufficient pay, they’d be home sleeping to get ready for work the next day.

          • Pablo Jones

            Who in their right mind would hire people that think it is ok to go out and loot and vandalize other people’s property? Are you justifying that what they are doing is ok because they don’t like the jobs they have or don’t have?

          • Joe Smith

            DIrtbags who use situations like this to loot are not looking for jobs.

    • Joe Smith

      If that was true than almost all encounters would result in shootings or violence which 99.9 % don’t.

  • givemeabreak1234

    The media has made this situation so much worse! I am sure that as these officers face the fear of crowds of people out of control and they can’t use deadly force, why? Because some black teenager that according to family and friends was a great kid and was heading for a college career was gunned down at the hand of an out of control white man. I call BS, it is because an out of control teenager almost an adult was scared he was caught for stealing and tried to over power an officer and steal his gun and try and kill the officer. Had he succeeded would this city still be up in arms? Would there be rioting for the officer? Would the all mighty Jessie Jackson and al sharpton have shown up for the officer? This is an excuse for out of control people to burn there own city down I say let them do it, and don’t cry for the government to rebuild it. Another lawsuit for the city to pay for an individual that stole and had no problem roughing up the sales clerk but, now we must all fell sorry for him. ummm not me I live in reality.

    • Bob

      Could not have said it better myself.

    • LorainCountyVoter

      Boy you hit the nail on the head dead center

    • Pablo Jones

      Well riots can lead to positive change. Just look at Detroit after the riots there in the 60′s. Half the population left and there are few if any local grocery stores left. Why would businesses want to invest in a community that will burn down their stores.

  • alreadyfedup1

    The FACTS do not support the media narrative. So Holder is having ANOTHER autopsy. Definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

  • johns62

    Interesting paragraph at the end of the story. With all this going on, what is God’s name was the news director thinking OK-ing a live hit from in from of the officer’s house. stupid

  • Edward Nonamaker

    This is complete and total chaos , its quite obvious that the local and state law enforcement agencies have lost total control of this situation. Using force to combat force is not going to happen for fear of another death amongst the black community , to obtain peace one must assert violence , until the local and state authorities can combat the violence with aggressive force this issue will continue , store owners must now arm themselves and protect the businesses they have poured their lives into . Pop a few looters and this will end …… an instant.

  • 2Cents

    New evidence trickled out all day that “may” support the possibility the officer had reason to believe his life was threatened. You can’t get justice if there is no crime — oh boy. I don’t think we have seen any-where-near the chaos we’ve seen so far, especially when Mr. (stick your nose in where it don’t belong again) Obama is helping fuel the fire.

    Michael Bowden’s autopsy (in my opinion) supports the officer’s descriptions of events “more” than the narrative the media has been stoking. Remember, the “key” witness, Dorian Johnson said Big Mike was shot in the back as he was running. Now all of his (Johnson) testimony may be in question.

  • Scout

    A lot of adrenaline was flowing during that confrontation and quite frankly I’m not so sure that the witnesses (regardless of which side they are on) really know what happened. Unfortunately that officer’s carreer is over in Ferguson and probably else where should he be deemed to have acted in accordance to policy.
    However, should it be deemed that he acted out of anything other than police, then his carreer and life are completely over…either jail, enormous civil litigation bills or all the above. Such a tragic situation.

    I do agree though that all the input from various outlets (news, al sharpton, the president, eric holder) are not helping to quell the problems.

    Chaos and ridiculousness.

  • Edward Nonamaker

    New Info just released within the last 30 minutes makes this a justified shooting , the cop knew that the robbery had taken place , he confronted the party and was approached and assaulted by Mr. Brown , they fought over the weapon in the front seat of the cruiser , a shot was discharged and the victim fled , the officer drew down on the victim after exiting his vehicle and the victim turned and taunted then charged the officer , the rest is history.

    • 2Cents

      CAUTION: Graphic video that shows body but catches witness telling same story as police officer. Bet we won’t be hearing this on CNN or Obama commenting on it’s content.