On Sunday morning, the White House announced that a federal medical examiner would conduct an independent autopsy on the corpse of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager shot dead by Ferguson Police Officer Derron Wilson on August 9.
More than a week after his death, local authorities have not released an autopsy report in this case.
“Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner,” the White House announced in a statement. “This independent examination will take place as soon as possible.”
This is the Department of Justice’s second intervention in the case. Previously Holder opened a civil rights investigation into Brown’s death that Holder said is “concurrent” with St. Louis County’s investigation into the death.
Though Brown was unarmed when shot dead, and multiple witnesses have testified in the media and on social media that Brown was shot multiple times after he was wounded and trying to surrender, no charges have been brought against the police shooter.
Wilson remains on paid leave. His whereabouts are unknown.
On CNN on Sunday morning, U.S. Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay described the shooting as a “murder.”
St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch has said he hopes to start presenting evidence to a grand jury immediately, even as new evidence is being produced. McCulloch has been widely criticized for his sluggishness in bringing charges in the case. State Rep. Jamilah Nasheed is circulating a petition to have McCulloch removed from the case and a special prosecutor appointed. That petition is available at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/appoint-a-special-prosecutor?source=c.em.cp&r_by=11088158.
Follow this reporter @chriskingstl.