Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon on Monday announced he has requested the U.S. Department of Justice launch an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of Michael Brown – an unarmed, black 17-year old – in an altercation with the Ferguson police department.
“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,” Nixon said in a statement.
“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,” he added. “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.”
The shooting tore open a scar of racial and economic tension in the region on Sunday. A peaceful vigil turned ugly Sunday night when a group of protestors turned to rioting, destroying a QuikTrip and looting area businesses.
Nixon said he spoke with St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar about the issue. His office said he has also been briefed by Col. Ron Replogle of the Missouri State Highway Patrol.