Feds order 2nd autopsy on teen shot by police

US Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a second, federal autopsy of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown, a teenager shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

Holder called for the federal autopsy, in addition to one being conducted by state medical examiners, "due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family," Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said.

The family is also planning to have a pathologist conduct an independent examination of the body, a family spokesman said.

The US government is seeking to assure the family and community there will be a thorough investigation into a death that has sparked days of racially charged protests.

Shot while unarmed

Brown, who was black, was shot by white police officer Darren Wilson on Aug 9. The police department in the St. Louis suburb has come under strong criticism for both the death of an unarmed man and its handling of the aftermath.

Seven protesters were arrested early on Sunday after Missouri Governor Jay Nixon imposed an overnight curfew aimed at quelling protests and looting. Police used canisters of smoke and later teargas to disperse the crowd, a Missouri State Highway Patrol spokesman said.

Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, entrusted by the governor with restoring order, told hundreds of people gathered at a local church for a rally that he was committed to protecting their right to protest.

"I'm sorry," Johnson, who is black, told Brown's family during remarks that prompted repeated standing ovations. "My heart is heavy."

Capt. Ronald Johnson speaks at an event at the Greater Grace Church by first apologising to Michael Brown's family on Aug 17, 2014. Photo: AFP

Parents of Michael Brown, Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden (above in black and white), attend the rally at Greater Grace Church on Aug 17. Photo: AFP

The rally was led by civil rights activist Al Sharpton (above). - Reuters

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