Nat'l Guard Heading To Ferguson - After Michael Brown Autopsy Released, Violence Reignites

( [email protected] ) Aug 18, 2014 12:43 PM EDT
Ferguson Protest
Police have been unable to stop the protest in Ferguson, Mo. (Photo : Reuters) 

National Guard troops in St. Louis are gearing up to respond to the crisis in Ferguson, after  Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order deploying them to the St. Louis suburb early Monday morning.

Military Police units began getting gear together to head to the base at Lambert Airport, to try and help quell the violence.

"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 ... in restoring peace and order to this community," Nixon said in a statement about the escalation.

Fresh violence late Sunday marked some of the fiercest clashes yet between police and protesters furious over the death of unarmed Michael Brown nine days ago.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who was put in charge of de escalating the situation after local police failed to do so last week,  called the latest criminal acts, "pre-planned agitation," not civil disobedience, and pointed at these acts as the reason for the heightened level of response by law enforcement.  

After somewhat of a let down in violence associated with the protest,  tensions also began escalating after autopsy results revealed Brown was shot six times, according to Fox News in St. Louis.

According to the New York Times,  an independent autopsy conducted by Dr. Michael 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,  revealed that Brown was shot twice in the head, with one of the bullets entering the top of  Brown's skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury.  It was likely the last of the bullets to hit him, Baden said.  Baden also called the amount of shots fired excessive.

Brown, 18, was also shot four times in the right arm, he said, adding that all the bullets were fired into his front. Baden provided a body map outlining entrance and exit wounds.

The Justice Department has promised to conduct yet another autopsy soon.

The situation that led to police ramping back up, began with the shootings of civilians by other civilians over the weekend, and Police reports that they are being shot at and that Molotov Cocktails are being thrown in their direction.

But protester Lisha Williams challenged the Police's version of events.  

"That is a lie. It was no fight, it was no shots fired," Williams told CNN late Sunday night. "All we did was march to the command center to fall to our knees and say, 'Don't shoot.' And they started shooting."

Police have had little success at stopping the looting in the area, and organized protesters who use social media to coordinate their efforts continue to arrive on the scene.  

The renewed tension came as a shock to many people, as Sunday began with prayer and mostly peaceful protest, but devolved after the autopsy results were released and the sun went down.