Protests heated up in Ferguson, Missouri, overnight Wednesday following the leak of a new autopsy report detailing the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown. A crowd of about 200 gathered near the city’s police department as some protesters knocked down barricades and pelted police with objects. Five officers were hit by either rocks, bottles or a metal rod, although no injuries were reported, St. Louis County police said Thursday.
Five people were arrested and charged with either disturbing the peace or failure to disperse, police added. The crowd dwindled down significantly by 2 a.m. Video taken at the scene shows people chanting, “Hands up, don’t shoot,” as officers in riot gear lined up along the sidewalk.
The protests were apparently fueled by the leak of Brown’s autopsy report this week to media outlets. An earlier autopsy conducted for the Brown family revealed the 18-year-old was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, during the incident with Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. The official autopsy suggests that Brown was shot at close range and may have been reaching for Wilson’s firearm. A grand jury is deciding whether to indict Wilson on criminal charges, and an attorney for the Brown family has asked protesters “to take their frustrations to the ballot box, not the streets” once a decision is reached.
— Erik Ortiz