With curfew lifted, can National Guard return the peace to Ferguson?

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As Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon deploys the National Guard to Ferguson, residents are responding with dismay to the initial autopsy reports that show local teen Michael Brown was shot six times, including once in the top of his head, by officer Darren Wilson.

“It’s horrible,” said Randy Duff, a 44-year-old father of two sons. “If that’s what it turns out to be, he did kill him like a dog. How come Wilson is not in handcuffs?"

​Duff said details of the report could further inflame residents after a week of flaring unrest and violent clashes with police.


"I think that might be one reason the National Guard is coming," Duff said.

Duff noted that the protests, which are largely peaceful by day, change tone after nightfall, when a different type of demonstrator shows up. Though the governor has lifted the curfew for tonight, Duff says folks are uncertain what will happen if the nighttime protesters try to square-off against the National Guard.


"It's going to be very interesting tonight," he said.​

Tensions are again simmering after high-profile pathologist Michael Baden, who conducted a separate autopsy at the behest of the Brown family, determined the teen was killed by a gunshot to the top of his head. Baden’s autopsy was the first of three. The St. Louis County medical examiner conducted a second and Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a third by the Department of Justice.

According to Baden’s initial findings, Brown was also shot in the chest, arm and hand, suggesting that he could’ve been assuming a defensive posture, but it’s unclear whether Brown was advancing or retreating at the time of his death.

“All of these gunshot wounds were survivable except for the one in the top of the head that went through the brain,” Baden told reporters at a press conference on Monday.


While the preliminary report answered some questions, but many still remain.

“We still have to look at other aspects of this investigation before we can really start piecing things together,” said Shawn L. Parcells, a pathologist assistant who helped Baden conduct the autopsy on Brown.


Brown’s legal team insists there is enough evidence to demand Wilson’s arrest.

“This case has suffered from a lack of transparency,” family attorney Daryl D. Parks said. “There is ample evidence for (Wilson’s) arrest.”


The Brown family legal team also sought to dispel any connection to the preliminary autopsy and renewed clashes between demonstrators and police in Ferguson. Details of the autopsy were first reported late Sunday night. Early Monday, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon issued an executive order to deploy the National Guard to Ferguson. The city had been under a state of emergency since Saturday, with a midnight to 5 a.m. curfew.