Michael Brown: Obama sending attorney general Holder to Missouri, local authorities set up protest zone

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An autopsy requested by the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen who was killed by police in Ferguson, shows he was shot at least six times. Brown's death sparked on-going protests that have boiled over several times into violence and looting, while the heavily armed police response and intermittent curfews have sparked criticism of law enforcement's handling of the situation. But Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said no curfew will be in place early Tuesday morning in Ferguson, and the National Guard keeping watch there will have immediate and limited responsibilities. President Barack Obama meanwhile said he was sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, Missouri, to meet with federal law enforcement authorities involved in the investigation.

Updates

Update 5:30 p.m.: Curfew lifted, authorities set up protest zone

Authorities are setting up a designated protest zone for nightly demonstrations in Ferguson, Missouri, reports the Associated Press.

St. Louis County police are encouraging peaceful protesters to stay in the zone. It's not clear what will happen to those who refuse to go into the designated area along West Florissant Avenue, where the majority of protests have occurred. In federal court, a judge denied a request from the American Civil Liberties Union for a restraining order that would have prevented authorities from enforcing the rule.

Attorney General Eric Holder is scheduled to travel to Ferguson later this week to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Brown's death. He said a third and final autopsy was performed Monday for the Justice Department by one of the military's most experienced medical examiners.

Also Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon lifted the neighborhood's midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew two days after it went into effect when he declared a state of emergency. The governor had summoned the National Guard overnight after police again used tear gas to quell protesters.

A grand jury could begin hearing evidence Wednesday to determine whether the officer, Darren Wilson, should be charged in Brown's death, said Ed Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County's prosecuting attorney.

Update 1:54 p.m.: Obama sending attorney general Holder to Missouri

President Barack Obama is sending Attorney General Eric Holder to Ferguson, Missouri, to meet with federal law enforcement authorities investigating the police shooting of an unarmed teenager.

Obama says Holder will travel to the St. Louis suburb on Wednesday.

Holder recently authorized a federal autopsy on the body of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old who was fatally shot on Aug. 9. Brown was black; the officer who shot him was white.

Obama spoke from the White House on Monday after independent autopsy results determined that Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. Missouri's governor also called in the National Guard early Monday after police again used tear gas to quell protests that have taken nightly since Brown's death.

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Update 11:17 a.m.: Missouri governor calls off Ferguson curfew

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says no curfew will be in place early Tuesday morning in Ferguson, and the National Guard keeping watch there will have immediate and limited responsibilities.

A midnight to 5 a.m. curfew had been in place the previous two nights.

Nixon ordered the National Guard into the St. Louis suburb following another night of rioting, more than a week after aFerguson police officer fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown.

In a statement Monday, Nixon said Missouri National Guard Brigadier General Gregory Mason will oversee Guard operations in Ferguson under the overall command of the state highway patrol. He says the Guard's limited role will be to provide protection and ensure the safety of the police command center that was believed to be targeted Sunday night.

Meanwhile, a St. Louis County autopsy has found that Brown was shot six to eight times.

County medical examiner's office administrator Suzanne McCune says the autopsy showed Michael Brown was hit in the head and chest. McCune would not confirm whether Brown was hit elsewhere on his body or discuss other details.

Full findings of the autopsy aren't expected for about two weeks.

Earlier Monday, attorneys for Brown's family released details of their own autopsy and said Brown was shot at least six times. That procedure also 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.

Update 9:51 a.m.: Autopsy shows unarmed teen repeatedly shot, lawyer says

A Missouri teenager fatally shot by police suffered a bullet wound to his right arm that may have occurred when he put his hands up or while his back was turned to the shooter, "but we don't know," a pathologist hired by the teen's family said Monday.

An independent autopsy conducted on 18-year-old Michael Brown determined that the teen was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, according to the hired pathologists and the family's attorneys. Brown was shot by a police officer Aug. 9 in Ferguson, touching off a week of rancorous protests in the St. Louis suburb where police have used riot gear and tear gas.

Forensic pathologist Shawn Parcells, who assisted former New York City chief medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden during the autopsy, said a bullet graze wound on Brown's right arm could have occurred in several ways. 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 across his face or chest, Parcells said.

"But we don't know," he added.

Witnesses have said Brown had his hands raised above his head when he was repeatedly shot in a street.

Baden said one of the bullets entered the top of Brown's skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when he suffered that fatal injury. The pathologists said Brown, who also was shot four times in the right arm, could have survived the other bullet wounds.

Baden said there was no gun-power residue on Brown's body, indicating he was not shot at close range. However, Baden said he did not have access to Brown's clothing, and that it was possible the residue could be on the clothing.

Brown's death heightened racial tensions between the predominantly black community and the mostly white FergusonPolice Department, leading to several run-ins between police and protesters. The governor has called in the National Guard to help and put the Missouri Highway Patrol in charge of security.

A new witness video surfaced Monday showing the aftermath of the shooting. CNN interviewed Piaget Crenshaw, who said she turned on her camera phone after witnessing the shooting. 

"God bless his soul, the police shot this boy outside my apartment," she can be heard saying in the video:

 

A grand jury could begin hearing evidence Wednesday to determine whether the officer, Darren Wilson, should be charged in Brown's death. Prosecutors are expected to try to start presenting evidence in the regular once-a-week meeting day for the grand jury, though it's unclear how long it may take, said Ed Magee, spokesman for St. Louis County's prosecuting attorney.

Family attorney Benjamin Crump said the family wanted the additional autopsy because they feared results of the county's examination could be biased. Crump declined to release copies of the report to the media, and the county's autopsy report has not been released.

"They could not trust what was going to be put in the reports about the tragic execution of their child," he said during Monday's news conference with Parcells and Baden, who has testified in several high-profile cases, including the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

The second autopsy, Crump said, "verifies that the witness accounts were true: that he was shot multiple times."

He said Brown's mother "had the question any mother would have: Was my child in pain. Dr. Baden shared with her in his opinion, he did not suffer." Crump also noted that Brown had abrasions on his face from where he fell to the ground, but there was "otherwise no evidence of a struggle."

7:35 a.m.: Governor Nixon orders National Guard to Ferguson

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.

Gov. Jay Nixon said the National Guard would help "in restoring peace and 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.

"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 latest confrontations came on the same day 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 Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.

As night fell in Ferguson Sunday, another peaceful protest quickly deteriorated and the streets were empty well before the midnight curfew.

"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 in charge of security 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 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 would be taken into account along with the federal examination in the Justice Department's ongoing civil rights investigation, Fallon said.

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 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.

The Justice Department already had deepened its 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 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.

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

Sunday's clashes in Ferguson 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 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."

Talking on ABC's "Good Morning America" Monday, Michael Brown's mother said Johnson gave her a heartfelt message that he was sorry.

"Like everyone else, he is supporting, and hoping and praying this doesn't happen again," Lesley McSpadden said.

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 Nixon 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.

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 comment on 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.

KPCC staff and Associated Press writers Eric Tucker in Brewster, Massachusetts, Jim Salter in St. Louis and David A. Lieb in Jefferson City contributed to this report.

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