Criminal Justice

Harvard law prof calls for arrest of Ferguson cop; autopsy finds teen was shot at least six times


Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree is calling for the arrest of the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9.

Appearing Sunday on Meet the Press, Ogletree commented after host Andrea Mitchell noted that police still have not released details of the shooting, including whether Brown was shot at close range and where he was shot. The Daily Caller reported on Ogletree’s comments, and NBC News has this transcript.

Ogletree agreed that information is critical. “And I think the first thing that needs to happen,” Ogletree continued, “we need to arrest Officer Wilson. He shot and killed a man, shot him multiple times. And he’s walking free. No one knows anything about him, no one knows why he did it. We need to have that done, number one.” Second, he said, was the need for increased dialogue.

More information on the shooting was released later on Sunday as a result of a preliminary autopsy conducted on behalf of Brown’s family. The autopsy found Brown was shot at least six times, the New York Times reports. All the bullets entered him from front, and the lack of gun residue on the body suggested the gun was not fired at close range. If residue is found on Brown’s clothing, however, the conclusion could change.

Four of the shots hit Brown’s right arm, and two hit his head, the autopsy found. One bullet entered the top of Brown’s skull, an indication his head might have been bent forward when the bullet entered. One of the doctors who performed the private autopsy was Michael Baden, the former chief medical examiner for New York City.

Brown’s head could have been bent down “because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer,” Baden said. More information is needed, he said, including whether there was gunshot residue in the police car.

The Justice Department will also conduct an autopsy, Attorney General Eric Holder has announced.

Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the National Guard to patrol Ferguson after protesters shot at police, lobbed Molotov cocktails and looted businesses Sunday night, report the New York Times, USA Today and the Washington Post. The Times says it was the “worst night of violence since the unrest began.”

Updated at 11:30 a.m. to correct subsequent reference to Ogletree.

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