Holder orders second autopsy of Michael Brown

BY Xander Landen  August 17, 2014 at 2:02 PM EDT
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has authorized a second autopsy of Michael Brown to be conducted by a federal medical examiner. Scott Olson, Getty Images News

A protestor holds up a photograph of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., on Aug. 9. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has authorized a second autopsy of  Brown to be conducted by a federal medical examiner.
Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images News

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered the Department of Justice Sunday to oversee a second autopsy of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old shot by police officer, Darren Wilson, on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo.

Holder’s decision came a week after Brown’s family and attorney, Ben Crump, called on the Justice Department to conduct a federal autopsy to ensure objectivity in the case.

In a statement, Justice Department Spokesman Brian Fallon said that while a second autopsy will take place as soon as possible, “officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation.”

Brown’s first autopsy was performed by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office on Aug. 10.

Brown’s death has since sparked days of protests and unrest in Ferguson. The incident became a hot-button issue with pervasive media coverage, prompting Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to declare a state of emergency in the St. Louis suburb and impose a curfew between midnight and 5 a.m.