CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Attorneys for the family of Michael Brown are urging restraint by both protesters and police once a grand jury decides whether the suburban St. Louis officer who shot him should face charges.
Attorneys Anthony Gray and Benjamin Crump held a press conference Thursday outside the St. Louis County Justice Center, where the grand jury is meeting and Dr. Michael Baden, who performed a private autopsy on the family’s behalf, was scheduled to testify. Brown’s parents, who were in Geneva this week as the U.N. Committee Against Torture heard testimony about U.S. policies, did not attend.
Their attorneys echoed Gov. Jay Nixon’s call for protesters to avoid rioting, looting and violence, but faulted him for not also calling on police to exercise restraint.
Police were widely criticized for using armored vehicles and tear gas to respond to mostly peaceful but occasionally violent protests in the days after Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson shot Brown, who was 18 and unarmed, after telling him and a friend to stop walking in the street.
Wilson told investigators he felt threatened while fighting with Brown from inside a police SUV, where an initial shot was fired, according to information provided to news outlets by people described as familiar with the investigation, but not otherwise identified.
Those same accounts said Wilson told investigators that after Brown fled the vehicle, he turned around in a threatening manner, prompting Wilson to fire the fatal shots. But some witnesses said Brown had his hands up.
Crump said attorneys would not talk about Baden’s testimony, except to say he had identified one additional entry wound in Brown’s chest after seeing results of an autopsy by the St. Louis County medical examiner. Crump did not elaborate on what that might mean.
Baden had earlier said Brown was shot at least six times, while the county autopsy determined he was shot six to eight times. A third autopsy conducted for the U.S. Department of Justice has not been released.
Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Ferguson Sparks Photo Movement
1. A Call To Action1 of 40
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3.3 of 40
4. Young Black Men Support4 of 40
5. No Justice, No Peace!5 of 40
6. Hands Up6 of 40
7. Don’t Shoot7 of 40
8. Beyond Color8 of 40
9. Youth Movement9 of 40
10. Don’t Shoot10 of 40
11. Generational Support11 of 40
12. Activists Of Our Generation12 of 40
13. Gathering Crowds13 of 40
14. Mike Brown’s Mother14 of 40
15. The Revolution Will Be Socially Shared15 of 40
16. Anonymous?16 of 40
17. T-Shirt With A Message17 of 40
18. RIP Mike18 of 40
19. Hands Up19 of 40
20. We Are One Race20 of 40
21. Do I Fit The Description?21 of 40
22. Am I Next?22 of 40
23. A Happy Protestor23 of 40
24. We Are Praying With My Feet24 of 40
25. Masked Supporter25 of 40
26. A Stand Off26 of 40
27. The Power Of Banning Together27 of 40
28. We Want Answers28 of 40
29. We Need Justice29 of 40
30. Hands Up30 of 40
31. Don’t Shoot!31 of 40
32. Passive Aggressive32 of 40
33. The People Flee33 of 40
34. Hell No, We Won’t Go!34 of 40
35. Solidarity35 of 40
36. Assume The Position36 of 40
37. A Sniper, Really?37 of 40
38. Never Give Up38 of 40
39. Is It A Race Thing?39 of 40
40. A Powerful Image40 of 40
(Photo Source: AP)