Monday, August 18, 2014

What Michael Brown's preliminary autopsy does/doesn't tell us

The New York Times released this graphic from the autopsy done by Dr. Michael Baden at the request of Brown's family. The local police have done their own autopsy but not released any results. Yesterday the FBI announced they will perform a 3rd independent autopsy.

What we learn from these results is:

1. Michael Brown was not shot in the back. That conflicts with at least one eye witness testimony and precludes an almost automatic conclusion of murder.

2. Its difficult to imagine the shots to the inside of the hand/arm unless Michael Brown did in fact have his hands up, as several witnesses said.

3. The shot to the top of the head raises the most questions and was described by Baden:
One of the bullets entered the top of Mr. Brown’s skull, suggesting his head was bent forward when it struck him and caused a fatal injury...
Baden goes on to suggest that could be because he was giving up or because he was charging forward at the officer. But the latter explanation seems like a stretch. Its hard to imagine putting your head down as you charge someone who is in the midst of shooting at you and its inconsistent with the shots to the inside of the hand/arm.

We still have a lot to learn about what these autopsies reveal. But this information points in the direction of confirming that Michael Brown was indeed "Hands up. Don't shoot" when he was killed.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Nancy, I just found your blog through a link someone sent me. I love what you have to say here, and I'm adding it to my blogroll. Looking forward to reading more.

    The Ferguson shooting is still such a mystery, and now we have the autopsy. I thought when I saw the bullet entries that the one at the top of Michael Brown's head showed that he was falling to the ground when he was shot again. It looks like he was shot in or above his eye, which would have been the one that might make him finally fall.

    I don't understand why the police aren't trained to shoot (if shooting is absolutely required) in the legs or arms. It would stop them without killing them. But the fact that the officer shot him six times is stunning. He shot from a distance. He wasn't in any danger from Brown. Six times. Why? Reflex, maybe, but their training should knock that out of them. They're not amateurs.