The Michael Brown family held a press conference at about 10:10 a.m. Monday with Dr. Michael Baden, who performed a second independent autopsy. The autopsy was performed Sunday at the family’s request.
Dr. Michael Baden explained that autopsies are important when it is predictable that the family doesn’t trust the government … when there isn’t transparency from the police.
Dr. Michael Baden said that “the sooner the information goes out, thesooner the family has the information, this calms community and family concerns.” The results can confirm or reject a cover up.
— Arlingtoncards (@Arlingtoncards) August 18, 2014
Dr. Michael Baden, forensic pathologist, explained that family members ask two most common questions …
How many gunshot wounds? [Reply: Michael Brown shot at least 6 times]
Did my loved one suffer? [Reply, “no”]
Professor Shawn Parcells (Forensic Pathologist Assistant) explained details about the gunshot wounds studied in the autopsy. Brown was shot six times — all to the front of his body. Three additional wounds for a total of nine wounds, were believed to be exit wounds. Two shots struck his head, and four shots hit his right arm in the fatal police-involved shooting by police officer Darren Wilson that occurred on August 9, 2014. Dr. Baden said one of the bullets shattered his right eye, traveled through his face, exited his jaw and may have re-entered his collarbone.
The body is examined and described in an anatomical position. Wounds are described as follows …
One wound to the top of the head — at the apex.
A right eyebrow wound possibly exited the eyebrow, and re-entered at the jawline
A wound to the top part of right arm
A wound to the right chest
A superficial graze wound at the elbow
A graze wound to the medial forearm indicates consistency with either being shot from behind or while turning or being shot while his hands were over his head.
A wound to the thumb.
The shots were not believed to be shot from close range, but the determination could change if gunshot residue is found on the victim’s clothing. The determination of a close range shot is important because some witness accounts reported that there was a shot fired while Brown was in or near the police car.
Dr. Baden said there weren’t signs of a struggle from the autopsy. There are abrasions on the right side of Michael Brown’s face which might be caused by Michael Brown hitting the pavement after being struck by bullets.
Parcells said that the wound at the top of the head was most likely the last shot — caused when Michael Brown was bent forward. The evidence from the autopsy cannot rule out the question of whether Michael Brown was rushing the police officer.
Dr. Baden said that all gunshot wounds were survivable, except the gunshot to the apex of the head. Most of the wounds are not consistent with witness accounts that Brown was shot from behind. Dr. Baden also emphasized that his autopsy is preliminary and inconclusive.
Only three bullets were recovered from Michael Brown’s body. Dr. Baden did not have access to the X-rays that may have shown where the bullets were found.
The St. Louis County police department reported after the first autopsy that Brown, 18, died of gunshot wounds; but the police department didn’t say how many times Brown was shot, and did not report any other details.
Additional evidence that Dr Baden stated are important in the investigation are facts regarding discovery of gunshot residue in the police car, whether Michael Brown’s DNA was found on the police officer’s gun, whether medical reports discovered injuries to the police officer, which might indicate a struggle.
The U.S. Justice Department is expected to conduct a third autopsy, utilizing a federal medical examiner.
Some critics of conclusion that the shooting was an execution argue that police officer Darren Wilson may have attempted non-lethal shots initially with the shots that hit the arm.