What we know about Ferguson

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 6:59pm

Events are unfolding at a rapid pace in Ferguson, Missouri. The town has been in turmoil since midday August 9, when a city police officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in the middle of a street. Protesters and law enforcement officers have clashed in the streets.


Autopsy report. An autopsy conducted for Brown's family showed the 18-year-old had been shot six times, including twice to the head. Dr. Michael Baden, the pathologist who conducted the autopsy, said he found no evidence Brown struggled with police officer Darren Wilson before his death. A family lawyer said the autopsy presented enough evidence to file charges against the police officer. The St. Louis County medical examiner's office has already done an autopsy but has not released results. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has approved another autopsy on Brown's body.

Night of violence. Gunfire, tear gas and Molotov cocktails Sunday night and early Monday morning marked some of the fiercest clashes yet between police and protesters furious about Brown's death.

National Guard. In response to the most recent street violence, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deployed the state National Guard to Ferguson, giving them the responsibility to protect the law enforcement command center during the night. Days earlier, he brought in the state Highway Patrol to provide security in the city. Nixon also lifted the midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew in place Saturday and Sunday nights.

Officer's account on the radio. The police officer who killed Brown says the teenager rushed at him full speed in the moments before the shooting, according to a caller to a St. Louis radio station. The altercation began after Officer Darren Wilson rolled down his window to tell Brown and a friend to stop walking in the street, the caller said. When Wilson tried to get out of his cruiser, Brown first tried to push the officer back into the car, then punched him in the face and grabbed for his gun before breaking free after the gun went off once, the caller said. The comments were confirmed as accurate by a source with detailed knowledge of the investigation.

Holder to visit Ferguson. President Barack Obama said Attorney General Eric Holder will visit Ferguson on Wednesday to talk with FBI agents and community leaders.

International attention. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on authorities in Ferguson to ensure people are able to assemble peacefully and urged law enforcement to abide by U.S. and "international standards in dealing with demonstrations."

A call for peace. Brown's family called for protesters to stop the violence, a plea that has not been followed so far.

Closures. Schools in Ferguson and two nearby districts were closed Monday because of the ongoing violence.


Investigation continues

St. Louis County police and the federal Justice Department are each looking into Brown's shooting. President Obama has the Justice Department, including the FBI, looking into the case as well. FBI agents are in Ferguson conducting interviews, the Justice Department said.

The police officer

Darren Wilson, 28, who has six years on the force with no disciplinary issues on his record, is on paid administrative leave, authorities said. If he returns to duty, he would have to undergo two psychological evaluations, authorities said. He was briefly taken to the hospital after the confrontation with Brown for treatment of an injury that left his face swollen, according to the city police chief.

Michael Brown's family

They've hired lawyers and expressed outrage at how the police have handled things, including Friday's simultaneous release of the officer's name and surveillance video from the day of the shooting that showed a man identified in police documents as Brown roughing up a convenience store clerk while purportedly stealing cigars. The family and critics of the department have accused police of trying to damage Brown's character.

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