Michael Brown: Feds order 2nd autopsy in Ferguson shooting

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Investigators will examine the body of 18-year-old Michael Brown, the young, unarmed black man whose shooting death at the hands of Missouri police has sparked outrage, protests and some riots in the past week.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called for a second autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner.

The Associated Press reports: 

Department of Justice spokesman Brian Fallon cited a request by family members and the "extraordinary circumstances" surrounding the case of 18-year-old Michael Brown in explaining decision.

"This independent examination will take place as soon as possible," Fallon said in a statement. "Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation."

The second investigation will likely look more closely at the "entry point of projectiles, defensive wounds and bruises," the AP reports.   

The Justice Department has already been investigating allegations of civil rights abuses in the case. 

Update 9:05 a.m.: More violence, arrests in Ferguson, but most respect curfew

A group of protesters in Ferguson, Mo., defied the state-imposed midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew, briefly clashing with authorities this morning as anger spilled into a second week over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen.

One person was also shot and critically wounded in the mayhem, and a suspect was being sought, Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson said. In an early morning news conference, he said a total of seven people had been arrested overnight, all for "failure to disperse."

St. Louis Public Radio's Stephanie Lecci says: "The violence erupted after another night of peaceful protests that turned, once [the] curfew was broken."

Many people, she reports, resented the curfew, ordered Saturday by Gov. Jay Nixon after Friday night's violence and looting, but most protesters did leave before it went into effect.

However, "a group of about 50 people made clear they weren't moving — despite the pleas of organizers. By 1 a.m., the scene had turned violent," Lecci reports.

Some of them chanted: "No justice! No curfew!"

Police confronted the protesters, who gathered in the same neighborhood where Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9. Authorities ordered the crowd to disperse, and when they refused, the police fired smoke and tear gas.

Police said the protesters tossed at least one bottle rocket. The Associated Press, quoting Johnson, said authorities:

"Received a report that people broke into Red's Barbecue and some were on the roof — creating a potential danger for officers trying to disperse the protesters. Police were responding to that report — not the fact that protesters were still on the street after curfew, Johnson said.

"Things got worse when a man with a handgun went into the street as police were nearing the restaurant. He ran away, but there was plenty of violence."

The New York Times says the standoff between protesters and police began about 12:30 a.m. CT and ended about 45 minutes later.

But hundreds of protesters, such as Orie Hood of St. Louis, said she'd heed the warning to get off the streets.

"I'm going to obey the curfew," Hood told NPR's Cheryl Corley. "I can't fight them. I don't have any bullets. I don't have any guns. I don't want to get shot. I have something to live for. But at the same time, I want to be heard."

Nixon, appearing on CNN today, said the local community had asked for the curfew.

"When we saw that second night" of looting and violence, "we knew we had to protect people's property," the governor said.

He said he was pleased that in the first night of the curfew "not a single shot was fired by law enforcement."

Asked how long the curfew would go on, he said there would be a meeting with leaders today, but "that will be judged by the people."

Meanwhile on Sunday, the U.S. Justice Department, which is leading an independent investigation into the shooting of Brown, issued a statement said that due to "the extraordinary circumstances involved in the case" that Attorney General Eric Holder had arranged for a second autopsy on the victim to be performed by a federal medical examiner.

"This independent examination will take place as soon as possible," the DOJ statement says. "Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation."

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

With contributions by Scott Neuman

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