Michael Brown’s mother: ‘What else do we need to give them to arrest the killer of my child?’
WATCH: An independent autopsy, presented by Michael Brown’s family attorneys, shows the unarmed 18-year-old was shot at least six times. Paul Johnson reports.
- Brown family autopsy shows he was shot “at least” six times
- U.S. Attorney General ordered federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy
- Missouri sends National Guard to protests in Ferguson, Missouri
- Governor lifts midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew in Ferguson
- Woman claiming to be friend of officer involved in shooting called radio show Friday with his side of story
FERGUSON, Mo. – Missouri’s governor on Monday ordered the National Guard to a St. Louis suburb convulsed by protests over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen, after a night in which police used tear gas to clear protesters off the streets well ahead of a curfew that’s since been lifted.
Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help restore order to Ferguson, where protests over the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white police officer entered their second week. Police said they acted in response to gunfire, looting, vandalism and protesters who hurled Molotov cocktails.
Monday morning, Brown’s family attorneys held a press conference, where they presented results of an independent autopsy. Attorney Benjamin Crump said the family wanted their own autopsy performed because they didn’t know if federal officials would conduct one, and they didn’t trust the local police department’s reports.
Crump said Brown’s mother asked three questions: how many times her son was shot–their autopsy suggested it was at least six times; if he suffered in pain–the report suggested he did not; and finally: “What else do we need to give them to arrest the killer of my child?”
The autopsy was conducted by former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden. He found that one of the bullets entered the top of Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when he suffered the fatal injury. Baden has testified in several high-profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson trial.
Shawn Parcells, a pathologist hired by Brown’s family, said a bullet wound to the teen’s arm may have happened when he put his hands up, “but we don’t know.”
Parcells said a graze wound on Brown’s right arm could have occurred in several ways. He says the teen may have had his back to the shooter, or he could have been facing the shooter with his hands above his head or in a defensive position.
WATCH: Ferguson riots echo bygone era in race relations
The latest confrontations in Ferguson came on the same day that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal medical examiner to perform another autopsy on Brown, and as a preliminary private autopsy reported by The New York Times found that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.
Brown’s death heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and the mostly white Ferguson Police Department. Civil rights activists have compared the shooting to other racially charged cases, especially the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teenager shot by Florida neighbourhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder. Both cases have fueled nationwide debates on the treatment of young black men in America.
WATCH: Obama calls for peace and calm in Ferguson
As night fell in Ferguson Sunday, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated and the streets were empty well before the midnight curfew.
Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is command in Ferguson, said at least two people were wounded in shootings by civilians.
“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 in a statement.
The “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding Brown’s death and a request by his family prompted the Justice Department’s decision to conduct a third autopsy, agency spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement. The examination was to take place as soon as possible, Fallon said.
The results of a state-performed autopsy–which found between six and eight shots had been fired–would be taken into account along with the federal examination in the Justice Department investigation, Fallon said.
A grand jury could begin hearing evidence Wednesday to determine whether the officer, Darren Wilson, should be charged in Brown’s death.
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 neighbourhood where Brown was shot to death Aug. 9.
Brown was also shot four times in the right arm, and all the bullets were fired into his front, Baden 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.
On Friday, a person by the name of “Josie” called into a St. Louis radio show claiming to be a friend of police officer Darren Wilson.
She gave a detailed account of his side of the story, saying Wilson was rushed by Brown, and that Brown punched him and grabbed for his gun.
The woman also claims that Brown taunted Wilson and that Wilson suspected Brown was on something as he kept coming at him.
The audio of the call, posted below, has not been verified by Global News. CNN says a source with “detailed knowledge of the investigation” confirms it’s an accurate account.
LISTEN: Woman claiming to be friends with police officer involved in Michael Brown shooting gives detailed account of his side of the story
Clashes in Ferguson on Sunday erupted three hours before the curfew imposed by Nixon. Officers in riot gear ordered all the protesters to disperse, and many did, but about 100 stood about two blocks away until getting hit by another volley of tear gas.
Protesters laid a line of cinder blocks across the street in an apparent attempt to block police vehicles, which easily plowed through. Someone set a 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 a main thoroughfare. The streets remained quiet as the curfew began. It was to remain in effect until 5 a.m.
WATCH: Protests continue for another night in Ferguson
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.”
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.
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. Associated Press reporters have been unable to contact him at any addresses or phone numbers listed under that name in the St. Louis area.
With files from Global News
Associated Press writers Darlene Superville in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and Eric Tucker in Brewster, Massachusetts, contributed to this report.
© The Associated Press, 2014