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Ferguson Day 9: National Guard Deployed; Autopsy Released; Amnesty International

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 18, 2014 2:40PM

The situation in Ferguson, MO continues to deteriorate. Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Missouri National Guard deployed to the St. Louis suburb after police fired tear gas at demonstrators Sunday night well before the midnight curfew enacted by Nixon was supposed to take effect. The St. Louis County Police Department claimed last night Molotov cocktails were being thrown at police.

Police also claimed their command center was attacked.

Police also continued their belligerent stance against the media. Both MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Huffington Post's Amanda Terkel reported police threatening to mace reporters.

One officer was caught on camera threatening to shoot reporter Mustafa Hussein, who was operating KARG Argus Radio's livestream of the demonstrations. "Get down, get the fuck out of here and get that light off, or you're getting shot with this," the officer can be heard shouting.

Another journalist with Argus Radio was reportedly shot with a bean bag.

While Neil Muunshi of the Financial Times posted on Twitter he was handcuffed and searched by Capt. Ron Johnson, the Missouri Highway Patrol official Nixon put in charge of security in Ferguson.

Prior to the latest assault by police, the results of a private autopsy on Michael Brown, the unarmed teen whose shooting death by officer Darren Wilson sparked the unrest in Ferguson, was released. The autopsy, which was demanded by Brown's family, revealed Brown was shot six times in the arm, head and torso. Brown was shot facing Wilson.

One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.
The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.

Ferguson police have been hesitant, to say the least, to reveal details of Brown's shooting and death, so this marks the first time protesters and the public have had access to that information. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has promised another autopsy would be conducted by the Justice Department due to “the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family.”

The situation in Ferguson has become so dire, the group Amnesty International deployed a 13-person team to the town, the first time ever Amnesty International has done so on American soil. The team will observe police and protester activity, gather eyewitness testimonies, and train demonstrators “on methods of non-violent protest.”

Jasmine Heiss, a member of the Amnesty International team, already said the group has encountered interference from police, who have restricted their access to post-curfew areas. Amnesty International USA executive director Steven W. Hawkins released a statement stating, “The US cannot continue to allow those obligated and duty-bound to protect to become those who their community fears most."