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US Attorney General to Visit Missouri Town Following Teen's Death

  • VOA News

Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri August 19, 2014.

Demonstrators protest the shooting death of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri August 19, 2014.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder plans to be in Ferguson, Missouri on Wednesday, site of violent protests following the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer.

Holder is due to meet with community leaders, FBI investigators and federal civil rights officials to discuss the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9. Holder has promised the people of Ferguson a "full, fair and independent" investigation into the shooting of Brown.

Also Wednesday, a grand jury investigating the shooting is expected to begin hearing evidence on the case. The officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson, was placed on leave and went into hiding, with Brown's family and supporters calling for his arrest.

This will follow another night of unrest in Ferguson, where 47 people were arrested after tensions rose briefly when a bottle was thrown at police. Police had ordered protesters to disperse when chaos fomented following peaceful demonstrations.

Despite the turmoil, the situation was more subdued than the previous night, when police arrested 78 people, including several journalists, and two of the protesters were apparently shot by other demonstrators.

Ferguson, a suburb of the city of St. Louis populated mainly by blacks, has been hit by street protests punctuated by looting and clashes with police every night since Brown was killed.

At the time of his death, Brown was suspected of shoplifting and roughing up a storekeeper. Authorities, however, say the officer, Darren Wilson, did not know that Brown was a robbery suspect.

An independent autopsy requested by Brown's family showed he was shot six times, including twice in the head. A Brown family attorney said the teen was trying to surrender to police when he was shot.

In a videotaped message Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said a "vigorous prosecution" must be pursued. He called for justice for Brown's family.

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