Review Category : National News

National Guard Called In to Ferguson, Missouri; Brown Autopsy Released

Scott Olson/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — A curfew imposed on the city of Ferguson by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon did little to quell disturbances Saturday night as one man was shot and seven people were arrested during protests over the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Meanwhile, even before authorities imposed another curfew Sunday at midnight, multiple smoke canisters were fired at protesters in an attempt to disperse a crowd after Molotov cocktails were allegedly thrown by agitators.

On Aug. 9, Brown and a companion were confronted by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who witnesses say allegedly shot Brown multiple times while he had his hands in the air.

In an effort to calm the situation that has grown increasingly more volatile, Governor Nixon said early Monday he was directing the state National Guard to assist in restoring peace and order. Nixon blamed “the violent criminal acts of an organized and growing number of individuals, many from outside the community and state,” for jeopardizing the community. Meanwhile, all schools in Ferguson will be closed Monday.

In other developments, ABC News has confirmed details in the preliminary private autopsy performed on Sunday by Dr. Michael M. Baden, who was hired by the family, according to The New York Times.

According to his findings, Braden said that Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head. One of the bullets, which was the fatal shot, entered the top of the skull, suggesting Brown was bending down. He was also hit four times in the right arm.

Furthermore, the Justice Department will perform its own autopsy on Brown’s body, which is in addition to one by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner and Baden.

Following nights of clashes between demonstrators and law enforcement, Nixon had the Missouri Highway Patrol take over security from local cops while imposing the curfew beginning Saturday from midnight until 5 a.m.

Although the streets were mostly empty Saturday, one person was left in critical condition by an unknown shooter, and when police responded, their car was also shot at. The victim remains in critical condition.

Meanwhile, some groups refused to disperse, prompting authorities to fire smoke and gas canisters. Seven people who refused to leave the streets were then taken into custody.

Afterwards, Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ronald Johnson, who is in charge of the security, admitted feeling “disappointed in the actions of tonight.” However, he said that no looting occurred, largely because officers were guarding stores that were ransacked earlier in the week.

Brown’s death is under investigation by the U.S. Attorney and the FBI to determine if federal civil rights laws were broken. The teen was African-American, while Officer Wilson is white.

On Sunday afternoon, Brown’s parents hosted a rally at the Greater Grace Church in an attempt to bring the community together.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke, saying, “Anybody that is going to be taken seriously in this country needs to address the police and Michael Brown.”

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Michael Brown’s Family Hosts Rally to Remember Teen Shot by Cop

iStock/Thinkstock(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Thousands gathered Sunday afternoon at the Greater Grace Church for a rally hosted by the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old whose shooting by police sparked a week of unrest in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.

The rally was an attempt to bring the community together after the shooting of Brown last weekend, according to fliers distributed to Ferguson residents.

Bishop Larry Jones helped lead the service, during which he spoke about unity.

“When we get to the place where we respect everybody, regardless of race, creed or color, respect everyone,” Jones said.

Civil rights leader Reverend Al Sharpton also spoke, saying “Anybody that is going to be taken seriously in this country needs to address the police and Michael Brown.”

Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who is now overseeing security, said, “And I’m going to tell you I’m going to be here as long as it takes. My words will be honest. If we talk about it behind closed doors, I’m going to tell you.”

The rally was also hosted by Sharpton’s National Action Network and The National Bar Association.

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At Least Two Killed in Arkansas Freight Train Collision

iStock/Thinkstock(HOXIE, Ark.) — Two freight train crew members were killed in a fiery collision between two trains in the northeast Arkansas town of Hoxie early Sunday morning.

According to Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Kendell Snyder, two others were injured and have been transported to local hospitals.

While officials had been concerned the trains were carrying toxic chemicals, the Department of Emergency Management confirms there was no hazardous or toxic release.

The fire has mostly been extinguished. About 500 people in the area were initially evacuated, but the evacuation order has since been lifted.

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At Least Two Killed in Arkansas Train Collision

iStock/Thinkstock(HOXIE, Ark.) — Two trains collided in the northeast Arkansas town of Hoxie early Sunday morning, killing two crew members and injuring two others.

According to the Arkansas State Police, Union Pacific Railroad officials believe the trains could have been carrying as many as 14 different chemicals, and some of them could be toxic.

State Police Spokesman Bill Sadler said, “There is air monitoring sampling under way, to determine exactly whether any of the chemicals may have harmed the environment in the area.”

Many Hoxie residents were evacuated, but authorities are considering letting some of them return to their homes.

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Justice Department To Perform Own Autopsy on Michael Brown

Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The Justice Department will perform its own autopsy on the body of Michael Brown as part of its independent investigation into the Missouri teenager’s shooting death, officials announced Sunday.

“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 Justice Department said in a statement Sunday.

The autopsy will take place “as soon as possible.”

In addition to the Justice Department’s autopsy, the St. Louis County Medical Examiner and forensic pathologist Michael Baden, who was hired by the Brown family, are conducting their own autopsies.

According to preliminary results from the county’s autopsy, Brown died from gunshot wounds. Justice Department officials will also consider that autopsy in their investigation.

Brown was killed last Saturday when he was shot by a Ferguson police officer, identified by the department as Darren Wilson. The shooting has sparked protests and racial tensions in the city, and the state has since imposed a curfew that began this weekend.

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Alabama Family Catches Record-Breaking Alligator

iStock/Thinkstock(THOMASTON, Ala.) — A 1,000-pound gator is breaking records in Alabama.

Five members of the Stokes family caught this monster alligator Saturday in Thomaston, Alabama.

It took them 10 hours to wrangle the mammoth beast.

Biologists at Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries easily measured the alligator at 15 feet, but weighing it was a big more tricky.

The alligator was so large it destroyed the winch used to lift average-sized alligators.

Eventually, a biologist had to use a backhoe to lift the alligator onto the scale.

It weighed in at 1,011.5 pounds, making the gator the largest ever killed in Alabama.

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Man Accused of Impersonating TSA Agent Won’t Face Criminal Charges

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN FRANCISCO) — No criminal charges will be filed against Eric Slighton, a man who allegedly posed as a security agent at San Francisco International Airport last month and privately viewed a couple of women.

California’s San Mateo County District Attorney says while it is illegal to impersonate a police officer, it’s not illegal to impersonate a TSA agent.

The DA says his office has been unable to track down the two women and have not found surveillance footage.

People convicted of impersonating federal, state, or local law enforcers can face up to five years in prison.

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Washington Police Find Bloody Scene That Could Be Sign of Homicide

iStock/Thinkstock(AUBURN, Wash.) — Washington police are investigating whether bloody clothes and pieces of flooring found burning along a roadside in Auburn are evidence of a homicide.

The Washington State Patrol lab confirmed that the blood found on the debris was human, according to police there.

“We can assume it’s a probably homicide. We are reasonably certain that it’s going to be homicide or a very serious assault,” Auburn Police Department Commander Mike Hirman told ABC News.

According to Hirman, the debris included clothing and parts of flooring including carpet, hardwood and linoleum all covered in blood. Hirman said police are waiting on tests to see if the blood is related to a male or female victim.

The debris was found Wednesday afternoon by a Federal Protective Service officer, who was driving through a well-trafficked road in Auburn, when he saw a small smoldering fire about 20 feet from the roadway.

The officer drove to the fire and pulled out his extinguisher to put out the fire. Before he could use the extinguisher, he spotted another man near the fire who immediately got into a nearby dark SUV and drove off.

Although the officer chased the SUV, he was unable to catch up or stop the vehicle. After firefighters were called to put out the fire, they found the items covered in blood.

Now police are asking the public for help in finding the suspect or even the victim. Hirman said if anyone in the area thinks someone is missing or if they are suspicious about any activity they can call the Auburn police investigation line at 253-288-7403 or 253-931-3080.

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Missouri Gov. Declares Curfew, State of Emergency in Ferguson

governor.mo.gov(FERGUSON, Mo.) — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced Saturday that he was declaring a state of emergency and a curfew in Ferguson, where peaceful demonstrations about the police shooting of an unarmed man have been marred by nights of looting.

The governor said the curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m.

“This is a test, the eyes of the world are watching,” Nixon said. “This is a test to see if this community can break the cycle of violence and replace it with peace.”

The announcement comes after looters broke into a number of stores overnight, and threw rocks and other objects at police.

On Friday, police had released the name of the officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, and also alleged that Brown robbed a store before he died.

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More Human Remains Recovered in Rhode Island Funeral Home

iStock/Thinkstock(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) — More than 50 human remains were found during an investigation into a now shuttered funeral home.

Officials first discovered six decomposed bodies inside the Pennine Funeral home in Providence, Rhode Island in July, the same month the funeral home owner Alfred Pennine committed suicide.

This week three other bodies, including an infant, were found in a storage unit owned by Pennine.

And now it’s been revealed Pennine also kept 45 cremated remains, some of which date back to 2001.

Officials are working to identify the bodies and notify next of kin.

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