National Guard troops are deploying to the St. Louis, Missouri, suburb of Ferguson, where protesters and police have clashed for 10 days following the shooting death of an unarmed black teen by a white police officer.
Local TV station KMOV reports 80 guardsmen will protect the police command center in the town at the request of Missouri state governor Jay Nixon.
“Given these deliberate, coordinated and intensifying violent attacks on lives and property in Ferguson, I am directing the highly capable men and women of the Missouri National Guard … in restoring peace and order to this community,” Nixon said.
Violent protests and looting in Ferguson have been almost nightly occurrences since August 9, when Officer Darren Wilson, 28 shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Late Sunday, police in body armor and gas masks, accompanied by armored vehicles, fired tear gas at protesters marching toward them. Protesters said the demonstration was peaceful before police began using tear gas.
The violence took place a before an overnight curfew began.
Police say some protesters threw firebombs and engaged in shootings, looting and vandalism. He said at least two protesters were wounded in the shootings.
Police described the violence as “premeditated criminal acts” designed to damage property, hurt people and provoke a response. Several people were arrested.
Late Sunday, The New York Times reported that preliminary results from a private autopsy showed Brown was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.
Attorneys for the family of Michael Brown say a preliminary autopsy shows the unarmed black teen was “trying to surrender” when a white police officer fatally shot him last weekend in the central U.S. state of Missouri.
An independent autopsy at the request of the family showed the 18-year-old was shot six times on August 9, including two bullets to the top of his head.
During a news conference in the town of Ferguson on Monday, family lawyer Benjamin Crump said the Browns requested their own autopsy before the U.S. Department of Justice said it would conduct a federal one.
“They did not want to be left having to rely on the autopsy done by the St. Louis law enforcement agencies – the same individuals they feel are responsible for executing their son in broad daylight,” said Crump.