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 Ferguson turns into tinderbox once again after new details leaked

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Join date : 2014-10-18

PostSubject: Ferguson turns into tinderbox once again after new details leaked   Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:45 pm

Ferguson, Missouri (CNN) -- This is the new normal in Ferguson: Protests, day and night, for more than 70 days now.
Sometimes it's hundreds of demonstrators, sometimes just a handful. But they're always outside the Ferguson Police Department, clamoring for the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
And with new details about the investigation leaked, tensions are escalating.
On Monday night, St. Louis County police detained two protesters, including Missouri State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed. She was detained as she blocked traffic in the middle of the street while protesting outside the Police Department.
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Protesters in Ferguson demand justice
Now, there are fears about what could happen next. One protester put it succinctly:
"If there is not an indictment, excuse my French, all hell is going to break loose."
Complete coverage of what's happening in Ferguson
Governor launches initiative
Saying that "our streets cannot be battlefields," Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon launched the Ferguson Commission on Monday, the members of which he will announced in early November.
The commission will be charged with studying "the social and economic conditions underscored by the unrest" following Brown's shooting. It will then tap various experts to address issues like poverty, education and law enforcement before offering "recommendations for making this region a stronger, fairer place to live," Nixon said.
"When there has been a clear vision of a better future and a well-marked path for progress, protests have yielded lasting change. When there is only rage and despair, anguish and chaos follow," he said.
He likened the worries of African-American mothers to those of police officers' spouses, saying they both watch their loved ones leave each morning and wonder if they'll come home again.
There is too much violence and fear, he said, and too little hope and trust. But in the unrest that ensued after Brown's death, "thoughtful voices on all sides" have raised legitimate issues, Nixon said.
The governor expressed hope that the commission will be able to bring those issues to the forefront, but also noted that he was concerned that if the issues aren't addressed, the St. Louis area -- Missouri's economic engine -- could suffer severe damage.
"This work is not for the faint of heart. Make no mistake: There will be anger and conflict, fear and distrust," he said. "But to move forward, we must transcend anger and fear. We must move past pain and disappointment."
New details revealed
Nixon's remarks came four days after a newspaper reported that Brown's blood was found on the officer's uniform and inside his police car, law enforcement sources told CNN. Those sources corroborated details first reported by The New York Times.
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"That tends to support any testimony that there was some kind of scuffle in the police car," said CNN legal analyst Danny Cevallos. "And if so, that tends to support Officer Wilson's testimony and his justification for using deadly force."
At least one of the wounds Brown suffered is consistent with a struggle and appeared to be fired at close range, according to a different source with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.
At least six shots
A private autopsy conducted for the Brown family showed that Brown had been shot at least six times, including twice in the head.
But Cevallos said the newly released details about Brown's blood on the officer's gun and on his uniform might only go so far in helping the officer's case.
"Ultimately, that officer will have to come up with justification not for firing his gun the first time, but for each and every bullet that came out of his firearm -- whether at the car or away from the car," he said.
Brown's death is the subject of two inquiries: one by a St. Louis County grand jury considering whether Wilson should be charged, and the other by federal investigators looking into whether any civil rights violations occurred.
New details are just one piece of probe
Timing of the leak
As anticipation mounts over the grand jury's decision, the new details leaked by a federal source to The New York Times could be strategic, a former FBI official told CNN.
"It could be really for, in part, a beneficial purpose, to start leading those community leaders and those leading the protests to believe that there won't be an indictment," said Ron Hosko, former assistant director of the FBI Criminal Division.
"It may be over time, that will have a beneficial effect of no riots, no battles in the streets again."
Sara Sidner reported from Ferguson; Holly Yan reported and wrote from Atlanta. CNN's Eliott C. McLaughlin, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, MaryLynn Ryan and Michael Pearson contributed to this report.

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