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Official Michael Brown Autopsy Released-More Questions Raised

The autopsy was released, but apparently misrepresented, according to Dr. Judy Melinek.

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Official Michael Brown Autopsy Released-More Questions Raised

Michael Brown's autopsy raises more questions.

Michael Brown's autopsy raises more questions.

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Michael Brown's autopsy raises more questions.

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Michael Brown's autopsy raises more questions.

Isabel Molina, Writing Editor

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The St. Louis Post-Dispatch released an article about Michael Brown’s official autopsy, and in the article, it supports officer Darren Wilson’s side of the events.  Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco who was quoted in the article, came forward saying her quotes were misrepresented and out of context, claiming the autopsy supports witness stories from the event.

Brown was the unarmed black teenager who was fatally shot by officer Darren Wilson on August 9 this summer in Ferguson, Missouri.  Brown and a friend were walking in the street when Wilson asked the two men to get on the sidewalk.  There was a struggle in the police car, resulting in a shot being fired from Wilson’s gun.  Wilson exited the car and eventually fatally shot Brown 6 times– this altercation led to a series of protests which resulted in what many call “police brutality,” because Ferguson PD used things like tear gas on their citizens.

There ends what is known about the shooting of Michael Brown; witness reports differ.  Some say Brown was surrendering and had his hands up when Wilson executed him in the street and other witnesses claim that Brown lunged at Wilson, going for his gun and Wilson was defending his life.  The police force is mostly white and the population is mostly black.

Melinek, who is frequently consulted for autopsies and interpretations, claims she was misquoted.  In the Post-Dispatch’s article, it says a few things Melinek disagrees with, such as it supports Wilson’s side of the story, that the autopsy indicated Brown was “going for his [Wilson’s] gun,” that he was not in a surrendering position when fatally shot, and that it did not support witness testimony.

According to Melinek, she was asked leading questions and her views were not accurately represented.

The autopsy indicated that there was gun residue on Brown’s hand, which means his hand was near the gun when it was fired.  The article claimed this meant that he was reaching for Wilson’s gun, but it cannot be said with certainty.  It is possible that he was defending himself from being shot because his right thumb was near the barrel.

The article claims that a bullet wound in his arm indicated that he could not have been surrendering, but what Melinek really said was, “You can’t say with reasonable certainty that his hands were up based on the autopsy findings alone.  The back to front and upward trajectory of the right forearm wound could occur in multiple orientations and a trajectory reconstruction would need to be done using the witness statements, casings, height of the weapon and other evidence from the scene, which have yet to be released.”

Additionally, the article claims that Melinek said he could not have been shot from behind, but she apparently did not say that.  It is possible that he could have been, but it cannot be stated with complete certainty, as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

The autopsy and toxicology report claim Brown had marijuana in his system, but he could have been sober.  It indicated he had been under the influence recently, as in earlier that day or the day before, but it does not necessarily mean that he was under the influence during the event.

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