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Nixon orders National Guard to Ferguson

Staff Report//August 18, 2014//

Nixon orders National Guard to Ferguson

Staff Report//August 18, 2014//

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Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered the Missouri National Guard to Ferguson, where violent protests continued after a curfew was put in place over the weekend.

Nixon signed an executive order early Monday that states the move is “necessary to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Ferguson.”

In a statement announcing the order, Nixon cited violent acts including “firing upon law enforcement officers, shooting a civilian, throwing Molotov cocktails, looting, and a coordinated attempt to block roads and overrun the Unified Command Center.”

Brig. Gen. Gregory Mason will oversee Guard operations under the overall command of the highway patrol. The curfew will not be continued Monday night, the governor’s office announced Monday afternoon.

He called the violence a “disservice” to the family of Michael Brown, the unarmed teenager who was fatally shot Aug. 9 by Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

Since Brown’s death, protests and looting have persisted in the St. Louis suburb. After several days of violence, Nixon on Thursday put the Missouri State Highway Patrol in charge of the area, creating a temporary lull that night in violence. However, protests escalated again the next day after Ferguson police revealed not only the name of the officer who shot Brown but also information about Brown’s status as a suspect in a robbery that occurred just before he was shot.

Also Monday, attorneys for Brown’s family discussed results of a private autopsy that showed Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. There also is a federal autopsy still to be completed.

The pathologist who did the private autopsy, Dr. Michael Baden, said all the shots could have been survivable except the one at the top of Brown’s head. Baden is a former chief medical examiner for New York City.

Toxicology results from the initial local autopsy are still pending. Baden said those couldn’t be replicated in his examination, but he expected they would be released “very soon.”

When an audience member shouted out the question, “Why hasn’t Officer Wilson been arrested?” Baden responded that it was not a forensic science decision.

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