National Guard ‘to restore peace’

Missouri governor Jay Nixon lifted the curfew for the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson yesterday and began deploying National Guard troops to help quell days of rioting and protests spurred by the fatal shooting of a black unarmed teenager by a white policeman. 

National Guard ‘to restore peace’

Nixon said the National Guard, which he called in after declaring a state of emergency over the weekend, would fall under the supervision of the Missouri Highway Patrol.

The governor had declared a state of emergency for the town on Saturday and ordered that the streets be cleared for a curfew that ran from midnight to 5am.

“We will not use a curfew tonight,” Nixon said in a statement posted on his website, hours after he ordered the Missouri National Guard to “restore peace” to Ferguson.

But retired local business owner Marshall Tucker said: “It ain’t getting no better with the National Guard coming in. That’ll be worse,” he said. “Tonight it’s going to get really sticky.”

An autopsy conducted on behalf of the family of Michael Brown showed he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. The path of one bullet indicates the 18-year-old Brown may have been lowering his head in surrender when the fatal shot hit, according to Brown family attorney Daryl Parks.

At the White House, President Barack Obama announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson later this week to meet with prosecutors and community leaders.

“It’s clear the vast majority of people are peaceful,” Obama said. “It’s also clear a small minority of people are not.”

Federal officials completed their examination of Brown’s body yesterday, according to Suzanne McCune, a spokeswoman for the county medical examiner. She said the results were given to the county prosecutor’s office, but she would not provide details other than to say the cause of death was gunshot wounds to the head and chest.

The private autopsy for the family, Parks told a news conference, showed one bullet hit Brown in the “very top of his head” and another shattered his right eye.

Darren Wilson, 28, the police officer who shot Brown as he was walking through a Ferguson neighbourhood on August 9 with a friend, was put on paid administrative leave while the case is investigated.

Each night since the shooting, demonstrators have been walking the streets around the three-story apartment buildings where Brown died.

Many residents captured the scene in pictures and videos that have helped fuel protests in Ferguson.

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