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Attorney General Eric Holder Orders Second Autopsy For Michael Brown

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Sunday that he is ordering a second autopsy on Michael Brown, the unarmed team shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9.

In a statement authorizing the autopsy, Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon cited the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the case. Fallon also said that Brown’s family requested the additional autopsy. A federal medical examiner will conduct the procedure on the 18-year-old.

The Justice Department also said that the findings of the new autopsy will not trump the findings of the original autopsy conducted by the state.

“Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation,” the statement said. The autopsy will be done as soon as possible, the statement said.

The federal government is conducting an investigation into Brown’s murder. Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, whom Gov. Jay Nixon has put in charge of security in Ferguson, said over the weekend that the FBI sent 40 agents to canvas for witnesses to Brown’s death. Nixon also declared a state of emergency in Ferguson and a midnight to 5 A.M. curfew in the St. Louis suburb starting Saturday night. Protesters broke the curfew, however, leading to police using smoke cans and tear gas on them. Seven people were arrested, one man was shot and sent to the hospital in critical condition, and Johnson said another person fired a gun at a police car. 

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