Michael Brown’s official autopsy report does not seem to support the narrative that he had his hands up and was running away when he was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, according to experts who spoke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The newspaper obtained a copy of the autopsy report, which details Brown’s wounds. A white police officer shot Brown, an unarmed black teenager, in August after stopping him and a friend for walking in the street.
The police officer, Darren Wilson, reportedly told investigators that there was an altercation in his police vehicle before he shot Brown. Wilson claimed Brown was reaching for Wilson’s gun.
Brown’s wounds seem to support that — according to the autopsy, he was shot in the hand at a very close range. A forensic pathologist told the Post-Dispatch that “if he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”
The report also seems to suggest that Brown was facing Wilson when Wilson fired the fatal shots, not running away as some witnesses have said.
From the Post-Dispatch:
The wound to the top of Brown’s head would indicate he was falling forward or in a lunging position toward the shooter; the shot was instantly fatal.
A sixth shot that hit the forearm traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said, [forensic pathologist Judy] Melinek said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was hit, she said.
The experts who spoke to the Post-Dispatch were not involved in conducting the autopsy.
Brown’s family commissioned a private autopsy in August, which. The official autopsy report mostly matches the findings of the private autopsy, according to the Post-Dispatch. They list the same number and location of wounds. The forensic pathologist who conducted the private autopsy, however, said that none of Brown’s wounds seemed to be from shots fired at close range.
Protests broke out in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, after Brown was shot. Witness accounts claiming that Brown had his hands up when Wilson shot him ignited accusations of racism.
Here’s the full autopsy report, via the Post-Dispatch:
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