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article imageMissouri governor summons National Guard to Ferguson

By Nathan Salant     Aug 18, 2014 in Crime
Ferguson - Missouri National Guard officers were called in Monday to help the state highway patrol restore order in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb wracked by nightly protests since an unarmed black teen was killed by police more than a week ago.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to patrol Ferguson just hours after state police used tear gas against protesters off the streets following a week of demonstrations against the fatal police shooting of a black Missouri teenager.
Sunday night's protest began peacefully but turned violent after authorities tried to break up the demonstration and fired tear gas when participants were slow to disperse, according to the Associated Press.
The protests began after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed on a Ferguson street by a police officer on Aug. 9,
Nixon said in a written statement that the guard would help restore "peace and order" in the small city with 21,000 inhabitants, mostly African Americans.
Nearly all of the city's 53 police officers are white.
"These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes," Nixon said.
Also Sunday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Justice Department to bring in its own medical examiner to confirm the results of two previous autopsies conducted on Brown's remains, the AP said.
A private autopsy found Brown had been shot six times, including twice in the head, but results of a separate state-ordered autopsy have not been released, the AP said.
Local police said they fired tear gas after responding to reports of gunfire, vandalism and looting.
"Based on the conditions, I had no alternative but to elevate the level of response," said Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who was placed in charge of law enforcement in Ferguson.
Two people were injured in shootings by civilians, Johnson said.
Johnson said that he has met with members of Brown's family and left with "tears to my eyes and shame to my heart."
Authorities refused to release the name of the police officer who killed Brown, Darren Wilson, until six days after the shooting, the AP said.
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