Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is ordering the National Guard into Ferguson after a Sunday night of unrest resulting in police using tear gas to get protesters off the streets before a midnight curfew.
The violence comes after news reports that a private autopsy ordered by the family of Michael Brown showed that the unarmed teenager, who was fatally shot by a police officer Aug. 9, was shot six times, including twice in the head, according to the New York Times.
According to a statement issued early Monday morning, Nixon said the National Guard will help “in restoring peace and order” to Ferguson, which has seen demonstrators and police clashing since the shooting, the Associated Press reports.
“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, AP reports.
According to AP, what started as a peaceful protest quickly became contentious as rioters and police clashed at the end of a street. Police reportedly fired tear gas, causing the marchers to scatter.
“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 was given command of the police department by Nixon.
Earlier in the day, Johnson met with Brown’s family and stated that the experience “brought tears to my eyes and shame to my heart,” according to AP.
“When this is over,” he told the crowd, AP reports, “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. 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 violence in Ferguson Sunday night comes on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Justice Department would conduct what would amount to a third autopsy, AP reports. According to Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon, the examination is scheduled to take place as soon as possible.