Missouri National Guard troops were being deployed on Monday to Ferguson to try to restore calm to an area that has become a nightly scene of rioting and protests over the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of, Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen by a white police officer.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s move to bring in the guard troops follows his declaration Saturday that the area was in a state of emergency and the setting of a curfew calling for the streets in Ferguson to be cleared after midnight.
President Barack Obama is meeting with Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday afternoon to discuss the Ferguson situation, his office said. Both the U.S. Department of Justice and St. Louis County Police are investigating the shooting of the black teenager.
Each night since the teen was killed, protesters have been walking the streets in and around the neighborhood where he was shot. The demonstrators have been holding signs, chanting slogans and calling for the arrest of 26-year-old Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown.
Schools in the area were ordered closed Monday because of the chaos in and around the town of roughly 21,000 mostly black residents.
Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, spoke out Monday in a televised interview with ABC’s “Good Morning America” program, saying peace could be restored “with justice… arresting this man and making him accountable for his action.”
Her family’s lawyer, Benjamin Crump, said on the same program that autopsy results that show Brown was shot six times, including twice in the head, were “very troubling.”
“It’s just not justified in any way, fashion or form to execute this child,” Crump said.
The Brown family has called for peaceful demonstrations and an end to violence, and the police forces on the ground have been widely criticized for using excessive force on protesters.
But police say a few of the thousands who have gathered have thrown Molotov cocktails and shot at them. Governor Nixon and other law enforcement officials have said they have to use force to stop looting that has hit several businesses and attacks on police.
On Sunday night, police wearing gas masks and body armor fired tear gas and smoke canisters hours ahead of the curfew, which ran Saturday and Sunday from midnight to 5 a.m. (0500 to 1000 GMT The Missouri Highway Patrol said “aggressors” tried to infiltrate a law enforcement command post.