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Family Autopsy Appears to Conflict with Witness Account in Michael Brown Shooting

Updated on August 19, 2014
We need answers for Michael Brown, we need answers for everyone involved.  We need them to be honest answers, based in fact and supported with evidence, not with emotion, opinion and hyperbole.
We need answers for Michael Brown, we need answers for everyone involved. We need them to be honest answers, based in fact and supported with evidence, not with emotion, opinion and hyperbole. | Source

Dorian Johnson was quickly seen on CNN with his account where he stated there was an altercation between the officer and his friend, Mike Brown. He stated the physical confrontation was initiated by the officer who reached out of the vehicle through the window, grabbed Mr. Brown by the neck and tried to drag him into the window as Mr. Brown tried to pull away. Mr. Johnson states during this interaction the officer was threatening to shoot Mr. Brown and had drawn his weapon.

The theme of the story in the media however has focused on this moment a little differently -- on the claim that the officer said Mr. Brown was attempting to take his gun and the family and witnesses -- who do, by the way, to a person, state there was an altercation of some kind at the vehicle between the two men -- say this simply is not true. That Mike Brown would never have attempted to take the officer's gun and the officer is lying in order to give cause for his later actions.

Mr. Johnson then goes on in his publicized TV interview to state that Mr. Brown, shot during the vehicle altercation, ran away from the vehicle. They both ran. As they were running away, key point here, away, Mr. Brown was again shot. This is according to another witness as well that was further down the street. It was only at that point that Mike Brown, according to Dorian Johnson, turned around, faced the officer, raised his hands, said "don't shoot", and was shot several more times.

During all this, there has been a video floating around mostly right wing sites which has been overlooked. I've seen no media either give credence to or debunk the veracity of this video, but you can hear a conversation ongoing in the background that appears to be from a witness to the incident that appears to be indicating Brown was advancing on the officer and failing to stop, not holding his hands up, standing still and saying, "please don't shoot."

With much ado, the family came forward yesterday to announce their private autopsy was complete and as they disclosed the results, several things were in disturbing contrast to witness statements.

First, they stated that there was no evidence of any physical altercation between the officer and Mike Brown. There was no bruising or injury around the neck. They're painting this as an indication that an altercation did not happen. This is even more a problem for them because it's being reported that the officer did have "swelling of the face" and was seen at the hospital after the incident. They have not released any more information on the officer's injuries.

So the altercation happened, it appears that Brown was not grabbed and manhandled by the neck as initially claimed, however, current information still indicates the officer did sustain injuries to the face, we can assume at this point, as if he was punched during an altercation.

The second glaring contrast was the claim by witnesses, all of which have been reported as friends of Mr. Brown, is that there was not a single entry wound indicating that Mr. Brown had been shot from behind. Not one. The wounds were all clearly sustained from the front as he was either standing or moving towards the officer (depending on the account) or as he was falling to the ground.

There is still a lot of evidence that we are waiting to see.

Witnesses all state there was a single shot fired in the vehicle. It may be important to see the trajectory of that bullet, it could help determine if the gun was in or near the holster as the officer appears to be claiming, or if the gun was drawn as Mr. Johnson has been claiming.

We are waiting to hear exactly what the injuries sustained by the officer and what the evidence says about how they were sustained.

We have 2 other autopsies we have yet to see the results of; do they concur or are there deviations in what each pathologist sees? We have toxicology results that we're waiting on -- the officer thought that Mr. Brown might be "on something" given his responses and behaviors. Is this true or simply a perception or maybe even an excuse?

Right now, the media needs to stop with the moving data. When information conflicts, on either side of the story, it needs to be pointed out. If we're going to insist on trying this in the court of public opinion, the media owes the public responsible fact finding and not compassionate moderation.

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    • Pragmatic Politic profile imageAUTHOR

      Pragmatic Politic 

      3 years ago from United States

      Natemims, I see them as conflicting because the autopsy indicated no damage, injury, bruising or other markings from being grabbed around the neck and pulled forward while trying to pull away. To be fair, it's possible a contact like that would leave no indication. Without seeing what happened and only hearing the description from Dorian Johnson, it's hard to tell.

      Also the claim by Dorian and other witnesses that Mike Brown was shot in the back at least once, THEN turned around and put his hands up. Now there is no proof at this point that the officer didn't shoot while Brown's back was turned, but clearly he was not shot while in that position. Again, depending on witness accounts can be difficult, particularly if there are conflicting reports as there increasingly seem to be.

      The hard part of this is -- did they or did they not attempt to take the officers gun in a confrontation in the vehicle? If they did, the law states that it doesn't matter if Brown was running away, if the did not, it does matter and puts far more blame on the officer.

      I'm interested in knowing the scene forensics at this point, specifically where the alleged fired bullet went in the vehicle and what it's trajectory was -- that may or may not give us a little bit clearer picture.

    • natemims profile image

      Nate Mims 

      3 years ago from Iowa City Iowa

      I didn't see the results as contradicting. I also didn't see them as fully supportive either. They just were. A shot through the very top of the head. The fact that there was no swelling or signs of struggle to Brown...how does that coincide with him attacking the officer and causing swelling to his head? The pathologist said the shot to his arm could have come from either front or behind...it seems everyone is doing their fair share of selective interpretation.

    • Pragmatic Politic profile imageAUTHOR

      Pragmatic Politic 

      3 years ago from United States

      We have a lot of information, so little of it vetted at this point. It feels like the media continues to move the goal posts based on unvetted, unproven information while ignoring that nearly the entire story from the other side has yet to be released and that the incident is still under investigation to see what evidence exists that would support either side of the story.

    • mdscoggins profile image

      Michelle Scoggins 

      3 years ago from Fresno, CA

      Thank you it seems that this situation is completely out of control. There is always a problem when people are quick to react without the facts and in this case a lot has been destroyed on the assumption of police brutality and racial profiling. Sad!!

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