Eric Holder Orders 2nd Autopsy in Ferguson Case

U.S. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder instructed officials to arrange for the review to be performed by a federal medical examiner.

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Demonstrators protest against the police shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by holding their hands up while gathered on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., late on Aug. 16, 2014.

Joshua LOTT/AFP/Getty Images

Updated Sunday, Aug. 17, 11:37 a.m. EDT: U.S. Attorney Gen. Eric Holder instructed officials to arrange for a federal medical examiner to perform a second autopsy in the police shooting death of Michael Brown, according to a statement released Sunday by the Department of Justice.

Holder cites a request from the family and “the extraordinary circumstances involved in the case” as reasons for his decision, Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, says in the statement received by The Root.

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

Updated Sunday, Aug. 17, 9:46 a.m. EDT: Just hours after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon imposed a curfew in Ferguson, Mo., in an effort to quell unrest over the police shooting death of Michael Brown, his plan backfired Sunday as anger erupted over the decision.

Nixon’s decision to impose a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m., came after a week of unrest in the aftermath of the shooting death of 18-year-old Brown, who was unarmed, by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who is white.

But 30 minutes after the curfew deadline, the New York Times reports, seven protesters, who refused to disperse, were arrested. They were all charged with “failure to disperse,” the report says.

“The protesters had moved toward the officers—some of whom rode in armored vehicles—and chanted: ‘We are Mike Brown! We have the right to assemble peacefully!’” the Times writes. “‘You are violating the state-imposed curfew,’ an officer told the demonstrators as rain, heavy at times, passed through the area.”

The Times reports that “despite an earlier pledge by Capt. Ronald S. Johnson, the state Highway Patrol commander whose is overseeing security in Ferguson, the police eventually began firing both smoke grenades and some tear gas.”

During a briefing just before 3 a.m., Johnson said that police began using smoke bombs after learning that men were on the roof of Red’s BBQ, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. The law enforcement officers then heard there was a shooting victim near the Red’s, a police car fired upon, and a man standing in the street with a handgun, the Post-Dispatch says.

By the time officers removed protesters from the scene, the shooting victim had been taken by private vehicle to a hospital, Johnson said, according to the Post-Dispatch. It was not known if the victim was a protester.

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who has been at the demonstrations all week, said police tactics had improved. Many officers urged defiant protesters to mind the curfew, “But there was no convincing them,” he said, according to the Post-Dispatch. “Some ‘didn't want to be told to leave.’ ”

The Washington Post reports that besides the curfew, protesters were also upset over a report from the lawyer representing a friend of Brown’s, who told the FBI that Officer Wilson confronted the pair because they were walking in the middle of the street.

Wilson cursed at the pair and ordered them onto the sidewalk, the lawyer, Freeman Bosley Jr., told the Washington Post. “When they refused to comply, he said, the officer grabbed Brown’s throat through the window of his cruiser, pulled out a pistol and shot him. Wilson then chased Brown, shot him in the back and shot him five to six more times as Brown’s hands were raised,” Bosley told the Post.

The Rev. Al Sharpton arrived in the beleaguered city Saturday to rally for Brown and Eric Garner, who died last month after a white officer put him in an illegal choke hold, which was captured on video by a bystander.

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