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What's next as authorities investigate the killing of Michael Brown?

Story highlights

  • Attorney General Eric Holder to visit Ferguson
  • Grand jury could begin hearing testimony Wednesday
  • Protests over Michael Brown case are likely to continue
  • The FBI investigates whether police violated the civil rights of Brown, a black teenager

The St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, has become a national flashpoint in the debate over race, the use of force by police and militarization of police agencies.

More than a week after Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, protests have been marred by confrontations with police, looting and violence.

Here's what's next in this unfolding situation:

Attorney general to visit

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Attorney General Eric Holder is expected to visit Ferguson on Wednesday to check in on the federal civil rights investigation into Brown's death.

Some 50 FBI agents have been in Ferguson interviewing potential witnesses in an effort to determine whether any civil rights violations occurred in the August 9 shooting of Brown by Wilson, a white six-year police veteran.

Grand jury

A grand jury has been seated and could begin hearing evidence in the case as soon as Wednesday, according to Ed McGee, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

The grand jury will hear testimony from witnesses and decide whether to return an indictment against Wilson, McGee said Monday.

Officials were working to line up witnesses but he wasn't sure if that would be done by Wednesday, he said.

Protest changes?

As police have before, city officials have asked for an end to nighttime protests in an effort to calm the violence.

St. Louis Alderman Antonio French said he believed there was also some talk of trying to refocus the protests away from where Brown was shot, including the site of many protest conflicts, West Florissant Avenue.

"I think what's being discussed is trying to move a lot of these protests from West Florissant to more productive areas, taking this to, say, the county prosecutors office or downtown to the justice center is different," he said. "That might be what we're doing through the next few days."

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The police officer

Wilson, 28, who has six years on the force with no disciplinary issues on his record, is on paid administrative leave, authorities said.

Whether he'll return to duty is uncertain. He would have to undergo two psychological evaluations first, authorities said.

Law officials have described Wilson as "very shaken." He was briefly taken to the hospital following the confrontation with Brown for treatment of an injury that left his face swollen, according to Jackson.

"He's devastated. He never intended for this to happen," Jackson said. "He was a gentleman. A quiet officer. He is and has been an excellent police officer."

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Michael Brown's family

They've hired lawyers and expressed outrage at how the police have handled things, including Friday's simultaneous release of the officer's name and surveillance video from the day of the shooting that showed a man identified in police documents as Brown roughing up a convenience store clerk while purportedly stealing cigars.

The family and critics of the department have accused police of trying to damage Brown's character. Jackson said he released both the officer's name and the video because the media requested it.

Complete coverage of the Ferguson shooting and protests

The family has conceded their son wasn't "a perfect kid," said family attorney Daryl Parks.

The family and their attorneys, however, took strong exception to the department's actions.

A convenience store surveillance video purports to show Michael Brown before he was fatally shot by police.

"Michael Brown's family is beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piecemeal information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight," the family and their attorneys said in a statement.

"There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender," the statement said.

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What about the community?

Schools in Ferguson and two nearby districts -- Jennings and Riverview Gardens -- remained closed due to the ongoing violence, CNN affiliate KMOV reported Monday.

With all the chaos, businesses have also been affected. More looting was reported overnight in the adjacent city of Dellwood. Several businesses have been ransacked, some burned.

"I know that people are upset, but is this the justice for Mike Brown?" the owner of a looted store asked KMOV. The station showed bullet holes in the store's facade, broken windows and destruction inside.

"All the small businesses, now they're running them out, and then people will complain later on and say there are no businesses in their neighborhood," the owner said. "I can't survive like this."

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