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Monday, August 18, 2014

USA Today: Chaos, violence in #Ferguson; National Guard called in

I've been following this situation actually since I learned a St. Louis, Missouri Alderman had been arrested in some of the unrest. While there were some quiet in the unrest, now the state of Missouri is calling in the national guard:
Another night of chaos and violence gave way to an uneasy quiet Monday as residents cleaned up from looting and vandalism and awaited the arrival of the National Guard.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Guard into Ferguson hours after police cited "pre-planned" acts of aggression by protesters. Sunday night and early Monday morning, protesters shot at police, threw Molotov cocktails at officers, looted businesses and carried out a "coordinated attempt" to block roads and overrun the police's command center, Nixon's office said in a statement.

The National Guard will "help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson," the statement said.

The predominantly black city of 21,000 on the outskirts of St. Louis has been under siege since Aug. 9, when white police officer Darren Wilson, 28, fatally shot unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. Protesters have been met with a heavy police presence, resulting in fierce nightly clashes.
There's a video with the report and it also stated autopsy report of Michael Brown who was unarmed and shot by police which sparked the unrest there.
On Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal autopsy on Brown's body. Hours later, reports began surfacing that the private autopsy performed at the request of Brown's family determined he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head and four times in the right arm.

Benjamin Crump told USA TODAY the preliminary autopsy reports shows Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head but not in the back.

"It verifies the worst that the family thinks happened -- that he was executed," Crump said. "It confirms what the witnesses said, that this was an execution. That's what the witnesses said from day one."
I must find more on this autopsy to be fair...
The findings came Sunday after a preliminary private autopsy, the second performed on Brown, by Michael M. Baden, former chief medical officer for the state of New York, at the request of the Brown family. The first autopsy was performed by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office.

“There were at least six entry wounds, there might have been seven, but we’ll have to correlate that with what was found in the first autopsy,” Baden, who retired from the New York state police in 2011, told the Wall Street Journal.

He cautioned against drawing conclusions from the autopsy. “Right now there is too little information to forensically reconstruct the shooting,” he told the Times, but added: “In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York State Police, I would say, ‘You’re not supposed to shoot so many times.’”

He also told the Times about Brown’s head wounds.

“This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” he said, indicating a wound at the top of Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”
So now we know more about what happened to him and unfortunately things haven't calmed down in Ferguson. One issue that seems to keep coming up during the course of this unrest is the militarization of police. Some criticized the response of the police there which prompted the State of Missouri to send in their state police under the command of a Capt. Ron Johnson pictured below:
Now he's the one that has to preside over the unrest that was sparked again last night. It seems he helped to calm things down in Ferguson. And I still hopes things calm down there soon.

BTW, that St. Louis Ald. Antonio French remains in Ferguson to cover the story. This is an interesting update, not that I've seen much about the police chief there but I get the idea he was maintaining a hardline. Now it seems if you believe this post that this experience has changed him.
May there be peace in Ferguson, Missouri.

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