FERGUSON, Mo. — The federal government on Sunday took on an intensified role in investigating the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, as Missouri officials defended their tough response to continuing protests and looting in this St. Louis suburb.
Attorney General Eric Holder issued a terse statement ordering an independent autopsy of Michael Brown by a federal medical examiner — the third autopsy of the 18-year-old. The Justice Department took the action in response to what spokesman Brian Fallon called ‘‘the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case’’ and requests from Brown’s family. Brown was killed Aug. 9 by a white police officer, Darren Wilson.