Protests in Ferguson; Gunfire Reported 08/19 06:43
The National Guard arrived in Ferguson but kept its distance from the
streets where protesters clashed again with police, as clouds of tear gas and
smoke hung over the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was fatally shot by a
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- The National Guard arrived in Ferguson but kept its
distance from the streets where protesters clashed again with police, as clouds
of tear gas and smoke hung over the St. Louis suburb where Michael Brown was
fatally shot by a police officer.
Protesters filled the streets after nightfall Monday, and officers trying to
enforce tighter restrictions at times used bullhorns to order them to disperse.
Police deployed noisemakers and armored vehicles to push demonstrators back.
Officers fired tear gas and flash grenades.
Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who is in charge of
security in Ferguson, said bottles and Molotov cocktails were thrown from the
crowd and that some officers had come under heavy gunfire. At least two people
were shot and 31 were arrested, he said. He did not have condition updates on
those who were shot. Johnson said four officers were injured by rocks or
Demonstrators no longer faced the neighborhood's midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew,
but police told protesters that they could not assemble in a single spot and
had to keep moving. After the streets had been mostly cleared, authorities
ordered reporters to leave as well, citing the risk from gunfire that had been
A photographer for the Getty photo agency was arrested while covering the
demonstrations and later released. Two German reporters were arrested and
detained for three hours. Conservative German daily Die Welt said correspondent
Ansgar Graw and reporter Frank Herrmann, who writes for German regional papers,
were arrested after allegedly failing to follow police instructions to vacate
an empty street. They said they followed police orders.
Johnson said members of the media had to be asked repeatedly to return to
the sidewalks and that it was a matter of safety. He said in some cases it was
not immediately clear who was a reporter but that once it was established,
police acted properly.
Citing "a dangerous dynamic in the night," Johnson also urged protesters
with peaceful intent to demonstrate during the daytime hours.
The latest clashes came after a day in which a pathologist hired by the
Brown family said the unarmed black 18-year-old suffered a bullet wound to his
right arm that may indicate his hands were up or his back was turned. But the
pathologist said the team that examined Brown cannot be sure yet exactly how
the wounds were inflicted until they have more information.
Witnesses have said Brown's hands were above his head when he was repeatedly
shot by an officer Aug. 9.
The independent autopsy determined that Brown was shot at least six times,
including twice in the head, the family's lawyers and hired pathologists said.
The St. Louis County medical examiner's autopsy found that Brown was shot
six to eight times in the head and chest, office administrator Suzanne McCune
said Monday. But she declined to comment further, saying the full findings were
not expected for about two weeks.
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.
A third and final autopsy was performed Monday for the Justice Department by
one of the military's most experienced medical examiners, Attorney General Eric
Holder was scheduled to travel to Ferguson later this week to meet with FBI
and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into
The Justice Department has mounted an unusually swift and aggressive
response to Brown's death, from the independent autopsy to dozens of FBI agents
combing Ferguson for witnesses to the shooting.
In Washington, President Barack Obama said the vast majority of protesters
in Ferguson were peaceful, but warned that a small minority was undermining
justice. Obama said overcoming the mistrust endemic between many communities
and their local police would require Americans to "listen and not just shout."
Obama said he also spoke to Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon about his deployment of
the National Guard in Ferguson and urged the governor to ensure the Guard was
used in a limited way.
Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump said Brown's parents wanted the
additional autopsy because they feared results of the county's examination
could be biased. Crump declined to release copies of the report.
"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."
Forensic pathologist Shawn Parcells, who assisted former New York City chief
medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden during the private autopsy, said a bullet
grazed Brown's right arm. He said the wound indicates Brown 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 chest or face.
"We don't know," Parcells said. "We still have to look at the other
(elements) of this investigation before we start piecing things together."
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 hired
pathologists said Brown, who also was shot four times in the right arm, could
have survived the other bullet wounds.
Baden also said there was no gunpowder 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.
Crump also said that Brown had abrasions on his face from where he fell to
the ground, but there was "otherwise no evidence of a struggle."