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Attorney General Eric Holder said today he has ordered the Justice Department to conduct its own independent autopsy of Michael Brown.

Holder cited what he called "the extraordinary circumstances" surrounding the death of Brown on Aug. 9 by a Ferguson police officer. Mass protests followed the shooting.

A federal medical examiner will perform the autopsy.

Members of Brown's family requested the federal autopsy, saying they don't have confidence in the state investigation being conducted by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch and St. Louis County Police.

The federal autopsy will take place “as soon as possible,” Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement today.

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Michael Sorkin is a reporter for the Post-Dispatch. Follower him on Twitter at @bymichaelsorkin