On Monday, police officials in Ferguson, Mo., confirmed that the FBI would open an investigation into the shooting of unarmed teen Michael Brown by a police officer.
Over the weekend St. Louis County Police vowed to launch a thorough investigation into the Saturday shooting. St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said the newest investigation would run “concurrent” to his.
“The FBI notified me that they will be opening up an investigation that will run parallel to this investigation,” Belmar said at a news conference.
“The Bureau will take a lot of the information that we have developed already, they’ll take that information, they may do their own interviews, they may look at the evidence themselves — it’s a parallel or a concurrent investigation,” said Belmar.
Belmar said he had spoken to St. Louis Division Special Agent in Charge William Woods who “said he had a tremendous amount of confidence in the St. Louis county police department, but at this point he felt the need to open up an investigation.”
Belmar maintains that the shooting occurred after a “physical confrontation” that started inside the police car. Witnesses, however, say the 18-year-old was shot multiple times with his hands in the air.
The local NAACP chapter, as well as Ferguson residents, have called on federal authorities to take action in the wake of the fatal shooting.
Special Agent Cheryl Mimura, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s St. Louis office, said they have been keeping an eye on the case since the beginning.
“We’ve been reviewing the matter (since Saturday), today we officially opened an investigation into a potential civil rights violation,” she said, noting that the decision was not motivated by community outrage. “Regardless of the media attention or the public’s attention to this matter, this is something that we would routinely do.”
The officer who shot Brown has not been named. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting.
SOURCE: NBC | PHOTO CREDIT: Handout
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