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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ferguson Update: Official Michael Brown Autopsy Report Vindicates Officer Wilson

The official autopsy of Michael Brown has been released by the St. Louis County medical examiner's office and according to two pathologists not working on the case they seem to support the account of Officer Darren Wilson.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch spoke to people familiar with Wilson's grand jury testimony and went over the autopsy report with the pathologists not working on the case:
A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

The St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation, reviewed the autopsy report for the newspaper. He said Tuesday that it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.”

Graham said the examination indicated a shot traveled from the tip of Brown’s right thumb toward his wrist. The official report notes an absence of stippling, powder burns around a wound that indicate a shot fired at relatively short range.

But Graham said, “Sometimes when it’s really close, such as within an inch or so, there is no stipple, just smoke.”

The report on a supplemental microscopic exam of tissue from the thumb wound showed foreign matter “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.
A second pathologist, Dr. Judy Melinek agreed that the autopsy supports Wilson's story. She said the examination "supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

According to the Post-Dispatch Michael Brown’s blood was found on Wilson’s gun.

Dr, Melinek also said the autopsy did not support witnesses who claimed Brown was shot while running away or with his hands up:
She said Brown was facing Wilson when Brown took a shot to the forehead, two shots to the chest and a shot to the upper right arm. 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, 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.
Additionally the autopsy reported that Mr. Brown's tissue was found on the outside driver's side of Officer Wilson's vehicle.
“Someone got an injury that tore off skin and left it on the car,” Graham said. “That fits with everything else that came out. There’s blood in the car, now skin on the car, that shows something happened right there.”
Brown's family also conducted an autopsy. This one run by pathologist Dr. Michael Baden preliminarily said none of Michael Brown's wounds were made at close range which would disagree with the officer's report.

Professional agitators such as Al Sharpton, and MSNBC hosts such as Joy Reid have already convicted Officer Wilson without seeing the evidence. But now that some of the evidence is coming out and seems to vindicate the officer don't expect them to slow down their condemnations. Truth is not important to people like that.

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