According to a preliminary private autopsy, Michael Brown, the young man whose fatal shooting by cop sparked protests and riots in Ferguson, MO, was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, by officer Darren Wilson, reported The New York Times. This autopsy was the second of three to be performed on Brown.
According to the autopsy report by the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, Dr. Michael M. Baden, and Professor Shawn Parcells, a Kansas pathologist assistant, a bullet entered the top of Brown’s skull, which is likely to be the life-ending shot and last of the six that hit Brown. The other shot that struck Brown’s head shattered his right eye, exited his jaw, and reentered his collarbone. The other four shots hit Brown’s right arm.
“People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1,” said Dr. Baden. “They don’t do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up. We are hoping to alleviate that.”
Baden noted that the autopsy doesn’t “assign blame or justify the shooting,” as his findings illustrate a number of possible scenarios. The entry wound at the top of Brown’s skull is polarizing. According to Baden, that gunshot wound could mean that Brown was surrendering, but it could possibly mean that Brown was charging at Wilson. However, eyewitness accounts of the shooting indicate the former.
“This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” said Baden of the headwound. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”
St. Louis County conducted the first autopsy but has yet to release the results, which is rather odd considering, as Dr. Baden said, the results could “have been released on Day 1.” Although there isn’t enough medical evidence to recreate the events of August 9, Baden lamented slightly about what he found: “In my capacity as the forensic examiner for the New York Times, I would say, ‘You’re not supposed to shoot so many times.’”
Considering the many eyewitness accounts of the shooting and history of the Ferguson police overusing force, Wilson could have very well gotten too triggerhappy and unreasonably gunned down an 18-year old kid.
“The sheer number of bullets and the way they were scattered all over his body showed this police officer had a brazen disregard for the very people he was supposed to protect,” said Benjamin Crump, attorney for the Brown family. “This is a case about a police officer executing a young, unarmed man in broad daylight.”
Below is a diagram from Dr. Baden’s and Prof. Parcells’ preliminary private autopsy report provided by the New York Times: