The Brown family's attorneys hosted a press conference Monday to discuss the latest preliminary autopsy findings for Michael Brown, alongside medical examiner Dr. Michael Baden and forensics pathologist assistant Prof. Shawn Parcells.
Baden and Parcells conducted the independent autopsy, and confirmed that six bullets entered Brown's body, with one having entered "back to front," and that there were no signs of struggle in Brown's shooting death. Baden added he had told Brown's mother her son did not suffer from the shots because there is "immediate loss of consciousness" following a bullet wound to the brain.
Pointing to the anatomical chart released with the autopsy report Sunday, Parcells outlined the trajectories of the six bullets. Two hit Brown's head, with one at the top, and one that entered above the right eyebrow. The rest included one in the top of the right arm, one grazing the middle of the right arm, one entering the middle of the right arm, and one at the palm of the right hand.
Baden and Parcells focused on two shots in particular that correlated with witness accounts of the shooting. The first was the shot to that entered the top of Brown's head near his hairline behind the exit wound by his right eye. Parcells said he and Baden believed the shot was fired from above, down onto Brown's head, because the bullet appeared to have reentered into his right shoulder.
The other shot of note was the one in the middle of his right arm. "There was a witness statement that said [Brown] was walking away and he kind of jerks so that would have occurred when he was walking away, and then he turns around," Parcells said, demonstrating Brown's possible movements. "It's consistent with that."
Baden added that the bullets were fired from at least one or two feet away, and that there was "no evidence of a struggle." The only wounds apart from the bullet wounds were abrasions on Brown's face, attributed to him falling down after the shots to his head.
As for the sequence of events, Baden and Parcells noted that they could not piece together everything from the autopsy.
"We cannot speculate the exact order of gunshot wounds, forensically that's impossible," Parcells said. "However, Dr. Baden and I feel because of the two gunshot wounds to the head indicating he was bending over, that those two shots were the last two to occur to him."
The Brown family had requested the independent autopsy because "they could not trust what was going to be put into the reports in the tragic execution of their child," Benjamin Crump, one of their attorneys, said. "It verifies the worst that the family thinks happened—that he was executed."
"The Brown family wanted to have this autopsy performed on their behalf because they did not know whether the federal officials were going to conduct their own independent autopsy," he added. "And they did not want to be left having to rely on the autopsy done by the St. Louis law enforcement agencies, the same individuals they feel are responsible for executing their son in broad daylight."
Baden said they will review the results of the police autopsy as well, and that he expects the findings to be similar to his and Parcell's.
"My impression, having done this 50 years or so, is they're going to be very similar," he said.
[Note: An earlier version of this story stated the shot to Brown's head entered "from the back." The shot entered behind the location of the exit wound. The sentence is clarified above. The Wire regrets the error.]
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