The first night of a state-imposed curfew in Ferguson, Missouri ended with tear gas and the arrests of seven protesters, but it wasn't the curfew violation that precipitated the confrontation.
Officers from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, St. Louis city and county police moved armored vehicles down the street of the St. Louis suburb just after the curfew took effect at midnight Saturday. It ended at 5 a.m. Sunday.
Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson says police responded in force because some protesters broke into a restaurant and positioned themselves on the roof, creating a safety risk for approaching officers. A man standing in the middle of the street with a handgun also created a concern. Someone fired at a patrol car, but no officers were injured.
One man was shot and critically wounded and police are looking for a suspect.
Police allege the 18-year-old Brown took a box of cigars from a convenience store prior to being stopped with another man by Officer Wilson on the afternoon of August 9th.
Police say Brown pushed Wilson into his cruiser, then physically assaulted him and struggled with the officer over the officer's gun. At least one shot was fired inside the police car. The struggle then spilled onto the street where Brown was shot multiple times. Witnesses say Wilson fired on Brown as he tried to run away.
The attorney for Brown's family says police are trying to assassinate the teen's character by saying he committed a robbery. Benjamin Crump said Brown's parents are "incensed" by what he calls "the old game of smoke and mirrors." He said the family was blind-sided by Friday's announcement. "It's bad enough they assassinated him and now they're trying to assassinate his character."
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has asked for the Justice Department to arrange an autopsy on Brown by a federal medical examiner.
Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said Sunday that Holder asked for the additional autopsy because of the "extraordinary circumstances involved in this case" and at the request of Brown's family. The Justice Department will still take the state's autopsy into account during the investigation.