UK & World News

  • 18 August 2014, 2:58

Federal Autopsy Ordered On Black Teen's Body

The US Attorney General has ordered a federal post-mortem examination on the body of an unarmed black teenager who was shot dead by police.

The Justice Department said in a news release on Sunday that Eric Holder had asked for the separate autopsy because of the "extraordinary circumstances involved in this case".

Michael Brown's family had also requested the move, in addition to the post-mortem examination being conducted by Missouri state medical examiners.

The 18-year-old's relatives are also planning to have a pathologist carry out an independent examination of the body, a family spokesman said.

An overnight curfew starting at midnight local time (0600 Monday UK time) will continue for a second night in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, state highway patrol spokesman Justin Wheetley said.

Officials say they plan to decide on a day-by-day basis whether to extend the curfew, imposed on Saturday night by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon in an effort to quell protests and looting.

Gov Nixon meanwhile sharply criticised the town's police for releasing CCTV video which they say shows Michael Brown stealing cigars from a store and shoving an employee.

"I think it had an incendiary effect," he told CBS' Face the Nation on Sunday morning.

He said police "clearly are attempting to besmirch a victim of a shooting".

Minutes after the robbery, Michael Brown had a fatal encounter with an officer who police say stopped the teenager for jaywalking.

Early on Sunday, police again fired smoke bombs and tear gas as some protesters defied orders to disperse between midnight and 5am.

A man was shot and critically wounded in the area, but not by police, while someone also shot at a police car, authorities said.

Seven people were arrested for failing to disperse.

Hundreds of peaceful protesters left before the deadline took effect.

Among them was Saint Louis-born billionaire Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who kept his 2.6 million followers updated with posts and Vines from Ferguson.

But the remaining protesters - chanting "No justice! No curfew!" - refused to leave the area.

As five armoured tactical vehicles approached the crowd, officers said through a loudspeaker: "You are in violation of a state-imposed curfew. You must disperse immediately. Failure to comply may result in arrest."

Officers put on gas masks as some of the crowd shouted back: "We have the right to assemble peacefully."

Moments later, police began firing smoke canisters into the crowd of protesters.

Speaking from the scene in Ferguson, Sky News US Correspondent Greg Milam said: "There was a hard core of about 150-200 who had said they would defy the curfew and did.

"At the time that curfew came into effect there were long lines of police with riot equipment - shields, helmets, masks and batons.

"They stepped back, allowing Swat teams to move in with armoured vehicles."

Michael Brown was unarmed and it has been claimed he was trying to surrender before he was shot dead by officer Darren Wilson, 28, on August 9.

Scenes of militarised police in Ferguson have been broadcast around the world.

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