FBI takes over Brown death investigation

ST. LOUIS – The FBI will investigate the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was shot to death Saturday by a Ferguson police officer.

St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar confirmed Monday the FBI will take over the investigation.

On Saturday, the St. Louis County NAACP called for the FBI to become involved after witnesses said Brown had raised his hands in the air to surrender when the officer shot him.

Belmar could not confirm if that information was accurate on Sunday, but did say Brown was unarmed.

Part 2 of the news conference:

Gov. Jay Nixon says he has requested for the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into the incident.

"This morning, I notified St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley that I would be making a formal request to the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation into the fatal shooting in Ferguson this past Saturday," Gov. Nixon said. "It is vital that the facts about this case are gathered in a thorough, transparent and impartial manner, in which the public has complete confidence. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this tragic event, and I ask St. Louis County residents to exercise patience and respect for their neighbors as federal authorities work to get to the bottom of what happened through this comprehensive, independent review."

Nixon has been in touch with Belmar, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, and Col. Ron Replogle with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Attorney General Eric Holder released the following statement regarding Saturday's shooting and Justice Department's role in the investigation:

"The shooting incident in Ferguson, Missouri this weekend deserves a fulsome review. In addition to the local investigation already underway, FBI agents from the St. Louis field office, working together with attorneys from the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division and US Attorney's Office, have opened a concurrent, federal inquiry. The federal investigation will supplement, rather than supplant, the inquiry by local authorities. At every step, we will work with the local investigators, who should be prepared to complete a thorough, fair investigation in their own right. I will continue to receive regular updates on this matter in the coming days. Aggressively pursuing investigations such as this is critical for preserving trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve."

Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis Vice President of Communication Angelia Bills released the following statement on behalf of the organization:

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis expresses its deepest and sincerest sympathy to the family of Michael Brown upon his fatal shooting. We join with the St. Louis County NAACP, Clergy Coalition and other organizations and an outraged community in demanding justice for the loss of this young man's life. We expect a full, thorough, honest and ethical investigation into the facts.

Although we understand the frustration and anger of the community, we implore everyone to stop the violence and increase the peace. More violence is not the answer. The vicious cycle of crime, violence and retaliation must stop in our community.

In the words of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis is a social service and advocacy organization that works to fulfill its mission of Empowering Communities and Changing Lives. Programs are offered in the areas of Economic Empowerment, Meeting Families Basic Needs, Educational Quality and Equality and Civic Engagement and Social Justice.


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