October 31, 2014
Unarmed Ferguson black teen shot six times, autopsy shows
The unarmed black teenager whose killing by a white police officer has set off a week of protests and rioting in Ferguson, Missouri, was struck by at least six bullets, a lawyer for the deceased's family said.
The path of one bullet indicates 18-year-old Michael Brown may have been lowering his head in surrender when the fatal shot hit, said Daryl Parks, the family's lawyer.
The private autopsy provides some answers, but not all, the family's lawyers said. They said Brown's body did not show any signs that he had struggled with the officer and that there was no gunshot residue on the body, indicating Brown was probably at least a few feet away from the gun when he was shot.
The lawyers said they did not yet have access to clothing that might show gunshot residue, X-rays taken when the county did the first autopsy on Brown's body, or toxicology results, which the county has thus far not released.
Police have given few details of the police officer's version of events. The officer remains in hiding, and police say he has been threatened.
Many details surrounding the shooting remain unclear, and federal and local officials have yet to release their own autopsy report.
Parks said the autopsy results clearly showed that the police officer who killed Brown should be arrested. He presented the results at a press conference showing that one bullet hit Brown in the "very top of his head" and another that struck his head exited near his eye.
"His head was in a downward position," Parks said. "Given those kind of facts, this officer should have been arrested."
The Brown family and protesters from around the United States have called for the officer's arrest for days. But police have said only that 28-year-old Officer Darren Wilson was put on paid administrative leave after the Aug. 9 shooting.
The department is running a parallel investigation to one by the US Department of Justice, which is evaluating the shooting for civil rights violations.
The lack of an arrest, and the Ferguson police department's reluctance to release details of the shooting have brought thousands of protesters to the streets of the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, whose population of about 21,000 is largely black.
Some rioting and looting has accompanied the protests. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon deployed National Guard troops to Ferguson today to try to restore calm.
On Saturday Nixon declared a state of emergency there and set a curfew calling for the streets to be cleared from midnight until 5 a.m.
Schools in the area were ordered closed today because of the chaos in and around the town.
The Brown family has called for peaceful demonstrations and an end to violence, and the police forces on the ground have been widely criticized for using excessive force on protesters.