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FBI Launches Independent Investigation into Shooting Death of Michael Brown

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Lindsay Toler
County Executive Charlie Dooley, with police chief Jon Belmar behind him, tells media he is disappointed in the lootings Sunday night in Ferguson. "I understand the community's frustration and desire for information."
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the probe into the shooting death of unarmed teen Michael Brown in Ferguson last weekend.

Governor Jay Nixon announced Monday, just two days after Brown was shot several times by an unidentified Ferguson police officer, that he asked the U.S. Department of Justice to hold an independent investigation -- a move supported by County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.

"It is vital that the facts about this case are gathered in a thorough, transparent and impartial manner, in which the public has complete confidence," Nixon says. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event, and I ask St. Louis County residents to exercise patience and respect for their neighbors as federal authorities work to get to the bottom of what happened through this comprehensive, independent review."

Belmar says he expected the FBI to join the investigation because of the "magnitude" of the shooting, which spurred violent looters to burn businesses and fire gun shots Sunday night after a peaceful vigil in Brown's honor. Belmar also says he thinks the bureau's findings will add validity to the results of a police investigation.

See also: Ferguson Riots: North County Business Owners (Some Armed) Survey the Damage

"This is a very complicated investigation, as it should be," Belmar says. "A man lost his life. There was a police officer involved in this. We need to make sure this investigation is done right. We get one chance to do it."

The FBI isn't taking over the police investigation. Rather, they'll review the case concurrently. Belmar says police will send findings to both the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, who will decide whether the police officer will be charged with a crime for shooting Brown, and the FBI at the same time.

Belmar says there's still lots of evidence to take in, including interviews with "scores of people" living in a neighboring apartment complex and several key witnesses.

"Frankly, we are still waiting to talk to some folks we think would have information," Belmar says. "We need to understand that even detectives who are investigating right now don't have access to everything. There has not been a rush to judgment."

Police are not releasing details of the autopsy, which was performed Sunday morning, except to confirm Brown was shot "several times."

Brown's family has hired Benjamin L. Crump, the attorney who represented the family of Trayvon Martin, a teen shot to death by a Florida neighborhood watchman, as its legal representation.

Three U.S. Congressmen are urging U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to expand the scope of the Ferguson investigation to include "potential for any pattern or practice of police misconduct by the Ferguson Police Department," according to the St. Louis American. Congressman Lacy Clay from Missouri, Congressman John Conyers from Michigan and Congresswoman Marsha Fudge of Ohio -- all Democrats -- sent this letter:

We understand that the St. Louis County Police Department is investigating the matter in order to have some level of independent investigation take place, but this arrangement is insufficient for at least two reasons.

First, the St. Louis County Police Department may not be the most objective or credible body to investigate civil rights matters involving law enforcement given evidence of racial profiling by that department in the recent past, which Congressman Clay had asked the Department of Justice to investigate.

Second, only the federal government has the resources, the experience, and the full independence to give this case the close scrutiny that the citizens of Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area deserve. Moreover, to the extent that a pattern or practice of police misconduct may exist, such misconduct would be a clear violation of federal law, including 42 U.S.C. § 14141, which makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. Such conduct would include the use of excessive force by police.

Only the Ferguson police, not county police of the FBI, can identify the officer who shot and killed Brown. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson tells media he'll announce the officer at a noon press conference Tuesday.

See also: Family of Michael Brown, Teenager Shot to Death By Ferguson Police, Talks About His Life

Belmar says despite the FBI's involvement, there's nothing that sets this case apart from other officer-involved officer shootings. But Sunday night's violence and looting are a different story.

"I've been doing this 28 years, not only have I never seen anything like this, I've never even heard about it, at least in St. Louis," Belmar says. "This is a very unusual event."

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.



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146 comments
nlu29
nlu29

Here's a take form a bi racial man. My dad is white my mother is black.

The entire thing is suspicious regarding Mr Michael Brown. I lived the first 21 years of my life in E. St Louis and moved to Ferguson 10 years ago. 

I have never seen anyone rob a store assault the worker and then walk right down the middle of the street knowing the police had been called and given a description? Until we can figure this out; Im not moving either way another inch. Im done and am embarrassed at myself to ever get caught up in this hate to begin with. There is the story for me right there!

Im not listening to all these lawyers everyone has gotten a lawyer,even witnesses? What is going on here? The officer is guilty before anything has been investigated? Where is the justice, that most of the protesters are upset about,  for him?

I did just saw a ST Louis legend speak with a MichaelBrown.com shirt on. He was saying Its time for the police and the rest of AMerica to change their thinking. What about some of us changing our thinking? Or is it a tug of war that lasts forever and the opportunist run in like roofers after a storm to benefit. Ive learned many lessons in the school of hard knocks and one of them is: If u want to know what is really going on, follow the stupid money.


There is little doubt in my mind that this will continue to happen until the money dries up. If looting is allowed these things will continue. If Sharpton and Jackson can come into Stlouis and talk to everyone like u are a puppy dog and insult your intelligence and decency then these things will continue. These are outsiders and are not needed. There are plenty of great leaders right here and can lead us to better thoughts and deeds. 


One last thing, Its either a Ferguson thing or an entire St Louis thing or a Missouri thing or a national thing. U cant have it whichever way benefits u at that moment and that goesout to the police man sympathizers.



Whether he used excessive force or not is all that matters. Simple as that. If it is found that he indeed lost his mind and killed this unarmed no threat 18 yr old boy, then u can grab your signs and demand a full psychological investigation or whatever is necessary to start to get a handle on these behaviors toward young black men. There is no need for all these protests. This cop is ruined either way forever . Calm the frick down and stay at home, u are an embarrassment at this point ,whether u had good intentions or not. U are being used. Dont let the terrorists blend in with the good people and get used even worse than Sharpton did u. 


This message to not protest  is for the supporters of the officer as well. But certainly, the black community cant blame them for asking for the same justice as the good people of Ferguson. They have the same right but neither is necesssary and really is shameful mat this point. If anyone will sit back and look matter this from afar, some of u will see what i just saw listening to the tv.  This isnt us, is it?


One thing to ponder


This white cop woke up last week and said today is the day im going to commit murder. Im going to let everyone down and ruin my career and life. Im going to gun down a black man in the middle of the street and Im going to empty my gun so everyone can see and hear it. I want my family threatened and my police chief replaced.


I will do this in the morning when people are going to work and at a place where plenty of people are around, like an apt complex........................................................................................

I aint buying it anymore. Im going to wait and let the system perform its duties and then i will pass my judgment at that time.


We need to answer what in the world makes a guy rob a store with people everywhere assault the worker and then walk with a red St Louis hat right down the middle of the street and get it on with a cop? When we answer that honestly,  we will be much closer to what really happened that morning.


The cop couldve got punched in the jaw and got mad and killed him. If thats the case he should go to jail and the maximum penalty should be enacted, because of all people he shouldve been able to handle that little thing.


Isolate the opportunist tonight by staying at home or protesting in your own yard and show the people of America that Ferguson is a good place to live and is inhabitated by good tax paying folks. We can still change the perception and we can do this and let the National Guard get some good publicity as well. 


Sleep well tonight knowing that any good that can come from this has already passed and now its time to go home and do some soul searching and some research and make sure justice is served for everyone.



Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Bubba, I can't wait til the folks with video of this incident release it prove you wrong. He wasn't stealing, he was walking in the street. No kid deserves what happened to Michael Brown. And where is your outrage about the police looting? They been kicking people out of businesses all day, preventing those businesses from earning money. And don't even get me started on the MASSIVE First Amendment rights they are violating. A few people looting DOES NOT NEGATE OUR RIGHTS. Stop drinking the Kool Aid and open your eyes to what is really going on here.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Oh I was just adding my two cents. I been using your "punk ass bitch" quote all day.

Charlie Harrell
Charlie Harrell

When a white person gets shot or beat up why doesn't it get all the publicity and investigation

Jason Freeman
Jason Freeman

Wake up heat of started all kinds of programs but the fact it he had Oliver north lie for him and cover the largest drug deal known to man. The drugs and guns transacted here makes him responsible because the US military was used to haul all the coke to the US. http://youtu.be/Yhroz1tvk-A stop being idiots

Johnette Louise Boatright-Perez
Johnette Louise Boatright-Perez

No I'm not sniffing glue n I don't give a shit about YouTube. Look I'm just giving my opinion, is it nessesary for you to have be fucking rude? There are plenty of black folks that kill a shit load of innocent people to DAYLY do you see white people tarring up shit no you don't! N yes cops do lie I AM a victim if police brutality. All I'm saying is let the authority's do their job that's what we pay taxes for, citizens should are suppose to obey the law! Why do people think they can be criminals n get away with it?

Roland Bubba Boice
Roland Bubba Boice

Ridiculous is people looting....as far as the unarmed kid goes, he was stealing and until the facts are all out, who is to say the police officer is wrong?

Kim Jones
Kim Jones

Shut the fuck up white trash redneck

Juan H Ramos
Juan H Ramos

STFU. Tiffany . You sit there and call us racist. You have no more evidence of what happened than we do. All of us have our opinions. Mine isn't racist. White brown or black if a guy goes for a weapon on an officer he deserves to get shot . Looting and burning at QT solves nothing. For u to sit there and condone that shit is petty.

Gina Marciano Mitauer
Gina Marciano Mitauer

No I think you're the idiot... Doing drugs is a choice!! You want to succeed in life?? Then don't do drugs!!!

Kristy Lytle
Kristy Lytle

Cest Lavie Boheme, when did I EVER say I was unsympathetic? Oh, that's right, I didn't. I merely pointed out the obvious: the rioting detracts from the real issue of an officer involved shooting. It takes the focus away from young Mr. Brown, which is unfortunate. I didn't point fingers or place blame, I merely suggested that people need to have all the facts before passing judgement. I get so tired of hearing the cop was innocent or the cop is guilty from people who obviously know nothing. More and more people start lashing out without all the facts - before an investigation is complete. I understand things quite well, it appears to be you that only understands things that are black and white (pun intended).

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

You said "thug" and "cop". You don't need to repeat yourself. Just use one of those words.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Why fear anyone? Why fear the police? Fear is how they keep the sheep in the pen.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yes Christine, every black man is obviously a potential thug in your world. Of course, the police never do anything wrong. Their uniforms are composed a special magical fabric that makes them better human beings than the rest of us. No one with a lot of power would EVER abuse it, right? Only poor kids in poor communities with failing schools and few jobs and few opportunities become thugs. Yes, let's blame it on the powerless and disenfranchised, then you can go back to your uncomplicated, shallow world. Keep drinking the Kool Aid. The rest of us are looking for real solutions and answers.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

I really feel sorry for all the people that cannot retain sympathy for an unarmed kid that was gunned down because there was rioting. I also find anything that comes out of your mouth (or fingers) after that completely invalid. You obviously can only understand things when they are simple and very black and white (pun intended). People are pissed. They looted. Some were opportunists. But without the riots I seriously doubt that Sharpton or the FBI would be here, or that the government would be taking this seriously at all.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

It's not like another QT or similar won't open up there. And we will pay for it with tax incentives and business development funds. Most corporate businesses and franchises are partially paid for by taxpayers. And sorry, but when people get really angry after seeing a kid shot in the street, they may not behave like they are at a tea party with Miss Manners.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Everyone is SOOOO concerned about the officer's life and Quick Trip, and a little low on concern about taxpayer funded armed thugs shooting and terrorizing the black community.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

So if he did shoot Brown for no reason it would be okay to kill him, right? He deserves the death sentence, not paid leave.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And if he'd turned on his dash cam or there was law requiring helmet or visor cams, none of this would be an issue. Of course, a major part of the crime scene has been so compromised at this point. They let the officer drive off in his patrol car.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yes, my mind is made up that the FBI is just more police thugs, but with master's degrees.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Meredith is just mad that all this trolling made her miss her Klan meeting. Or maybe it is just that she that being white and "law abiding" (look at that profile pic, I bet she breaks three laws before breakfast) is the only thing she has going for her, and if she is wrong about "white might is right" she might be wrong about herself. She might, in fact, have to face the fact that she is sorry excuse for a human being with little to offer the world.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And don't you love how African Americans are just supposed to "get over" slavery and rape and genocide, and not being allowed to learn to read or write, and then even after "freedom" go to the same schools or vote? Usually these people saying "get over it" are the same people that are still mad that the Yankees burned down Dixie. The same people will recite how their ancestors came to this country to escape "religious persecution" 400 (or whatever) years ago.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Let's not forget he was allowed to drive away with a big part of the crime scene, his car. Of course, they couldn't move Brown's body for hours because it would disrupt that same crime scene. I call shenanigans.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

But a cop shooting an unarmed kid in the back doesn't do a bit of damage to police credibility. That is a crazy logic you posses. What drugs are you doing, anyhow?

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

And how many African American men don't have a juvenile record in a city where you can get shot for walking in the street, and detained for wearing baggy pants? Without the money from (black) crime, there would be no wealthy (white) lawyers and judges. Without Driving While Black, no cop could make his monthly ticket quota without stepping on white toes.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

You just swallow the official story like Jonestown Kool Aid. During Reagan's years in office the Columbian cartels used to refuel their drug planes at a retired DEA agent's private landing strip in Costa Rica. That's not crazy left wing shit, that's CIA documented. And it's just the tip of the iceberg. Wake up you idiot.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yeah, that's why they have the officer on paid leave. That's why they let him drive off in the scene of the crime (his patrol car). That's why they still have no official story and won''t release the amount of bullet holes in Brown's body. Now go back to smoking your crack.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

You have a black boyfriend? Well I guess you aren't the Klan. You are just really stupid. Eye witnesses lie, but cops never do? Are you sniffing glue? Plenty of cops with plenty of eyewitnesses gun down unarmed people every day. And beat them. There's this thing called YouTube now. People record things and post them. There are HUNDREDS, probably THOUSANDS of videos of cops attacking helpless people, like homeless women on LA Freeways. Don't take my word for it, just go to Youtube and search police brutality.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Oh Johnette, you must have missed your Klan meeting altogether with all your comments. Yes, you are right, black people are taught from an early age that Gang Police Thugs will harass, detain, shoot and seize the assets of anyone with dark skin. And we pay their salaries. And obviously you have never been so traumatized and abused that you lost your temper and took it out on the wrong people.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Taxpayers need to stop paying for armed thugs with more regard for private property than the lives of unarmed teenagers.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yes, the police have attacked so many innocent people, it is all that anyone can do to contain their anger. Maybe that cop should have thought about that before he shot an unarmed kid for walking in the street. "A people should not be afraid of their government. The government should be afraid of their people." V for Vendetta riffing John Basil Barnhart. "The people should not be accountable to the police, the police should be accountable to the people." Me riffing V.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

I am hoping that is sarcasm, because if you are serious you are everything that is wrong in this world.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Yes, because that has worked so well the many other times this has happened. You people that value QuickTrip's profits over righteous anger of community that has been traumatized make me sick.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

I guess you've never seen a kid get shot on your street and lost your temper. The police are the worst group of thugs in this city. Get a reality check. Or better yet, please come to Ferguson and demonstrate your tired little platitudes. Again, if only you could live as an 18 year old African American male for one hour.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Oh you were there and saw him grab the gun now did you? I mean, it's not like cops every lie right? What is it? The uniform automatically makes a person completely truthful? Too many of the white cops in this city are vicious racists that figured out they could get a salary to terrorize black folks instead of putting on sheets and paying Klan dues.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Aaron there are alot of people that know just exactly what happened. But you will only be happy when police release an official report. You don't care about what happened. You just don't want your privileged world view and sense of entitlement disturbed.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Johnette I have known a lot of cops and very few of them were law abiding. They break the law more than most criminals. Now hurry up and get going or you will miss your Klan meeting.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

There were white people looting and arrested. You weren't looking for them. And loot some homes, of what? Ferguson is not a wealthy area. Yeah the looting was wrong, but you know, when people see an unarmed kid shot in the street and his body left there for hours, they get a little angry and don't think straight. You are one of those people I wish would magically turn into an 18 year old African American male on the north side (city or county). For just one hour. Just one hour.

Lace King
Lace King

Cest Lavie Boheme sorry if my comment didn't make it obvious, but you're just preaching to the choir, at least with regards to replying to me.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

We need to police the police. If that officer had been wearing a camera there would be no dispute about what happened. If police were required to meet and greet the people in the communities where they worked someone would have known his name. Better yet, let's have a public roll call every day and when an incident happens we can go look up name and badge number and photo on the PD website. A little more accountability and maybe this officer would have thought twice about drawing his gun, much less shooting it. They pick and choose what law and protocol to abide by. They wouldn't move Brown's body because it would disturb the crime scene, yet they let the officer drive off in his patrol car, which was also part of the crime scene if indeed the gun went off during a struggle in the car. We are not safe from the police, as long as they are safe from us. Let's not forget this murdering thug is enjoying a paid leave. We pay their salaries. We pay for their guns. We pay for their jails and police stations. I wish the looters had hit the City Hall and Police station. We paid for it, we have the right to tear it down. But it would be more effective to pass laws requiring cameras and accountability. #justice

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Meredith there was a guy in 1939 in Germany that would have loved you. Too bad you missed your time in the Aryan sun.

Cest Lavie Boheme
Cest Lavie Boheme

Johnette was late for her Klan meeting and will be back to reply later.

Lace King
Lace King

Tiffani Osbey exactly my point. And most importantly (imho), a FLEEING unarmed youth. MO Statutes legally protect him once he fled on foot, and both parties acknowledge he had his hands up and was fleeing when he got popped. Cop was only trying to flex at that point; cop was no longer in danger.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

You idiots only care about the cop's due process but not Michael Brown's. You should be ashamed of yourselves. We are all citizens and deserve our Contitutional Rights to be upheld. Thug or cop or otherwise.

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