The situation in Ferguson has deteriorated since last night. There are reports of “coordinated attacks,” police are threatening news reporters, and the governor has called in the National Guard.
Missouri’s governor ordered the National Guard onto the streets of Ferguson early Monday after another night of violence following the shooting of an unarmed black teen by police. “Tonight, a day of hope, prayers, and peaceful protests was marred by the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state, whose actions are putting the residents and businesses of Ferguson at risk,” Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement. “Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard to assist … in restoring peace and order to this community.”
Meanwhile, the autopsy requested by the family of the man killed that started this situation has been released. According to the report, he was shot six times, all shots hitting him in the front of his body.
One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury, according to Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, who flew to Missouri on Sunday at the family’s request to conduct the separate autopsy. It was likely the last of bullets to hit him, he said.
Mr. Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front.
The bullets did not appear to have been shot from very close range because no gunpowder was present on his body. However, that determination could change if it turns out that there is gunshot residue on Mr. Brown’s clothing, to which Dr. Baden did not have access.
I’m no crime scene expert, and watching reruns of Castle and CSI doesn’t make me one, but it the fatal shot struck him on the top of his head and he was over six feet tall, that suggests that he was neither running away from the police officer or even standing up.
A couple of days it seemed as if the situation was calming down. Replacing the local police in heavy armor and artillery with the state police who walked among the citizens and talked to them as people seemed to be working. Then the local police felt the need to release a video from a crime scene that was unrelated to the shooting but showed Mr. Brown as a criminal suspect in a robbery. That inflamed the issue all over again because it made it look as if the officer that shot him was responding to the robbery when in fact he was not.
We are now back to where we were before cooler heads prevailed. The National Guard is not a police force, they are a branch of the military. How exactly will they restore “peace and order” in the community?