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Eric Holder orders second autopsy for Michael Brown

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder orders second autopsy for slain teen Michael Brown upon request of his family.
By Danielle Haynes Follow @DanielleHaynes1 Contact the Author   |   Updated Aug. 17, 2014 at 5:23 PM
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FERGUSON, Mo., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a second autopsy to be conducted on the body of Michael Brown, the 18-year-old whose shooting death has sparked riots and racial tension in Ferguson, Mo.

A statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice announced feds would conduct the autopsy, which was requested by Brown's family.

"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. This independent examination will take place as soon as possible," the statement said.

The first autopsy was conducted by the state of Missouri and the justice department release said it would take that investigation into account.

"Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation," the release said.

The announcement came after a night of violence and protests in Ferguson.

Police shot tear gas toward protesters who broke a curfew mandated by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. One man was shot, though by whom it was unclear. He was in critical condition.

Brown was shot to death Aug. 9 by St. Louis County Police officer Darren Wilson. Some witnesses said they observed the unarmed teen holding his hands above his head when he was shot.

The incident has sparked riots and criticisms about alleged police brutality and racism.

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