The results of a private autopsy performed by a doctor on behalf of the family of slain teenager Mike Brown were released Sunday evening. Dr. Michael Baden indicated in his report that Brown was shot six times by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Two of the gunshots were to the head, including one to the top of the skull. The skullshot was the final one delivered as it was clearly fatal. A gunshot to the top of the head seems to indicate that Brown was leaning down or on his knees when that shot was delivered. This lends credence to eyewitness accounts that the officer shot Brown execution-style at the end of the confrontation.
Dr. Baden is well-known when it comes to autopsies. He is the former chief medical examiner for New York City. He has performed tens of thousands of autopsies in his career and also reviewed the autopsy records of John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also hosted the HBO show Autopsy. Due to his feelings about this case, he waived his normal fee. After releasing the results Sunday, he said the following:
“People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1. 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’s autopsy does raise as many questions as it answers. He reported that there was no gunpowder residue on the body, indicating that there weren’t any extremely close gunshots. This contradicts eyewitness accounts and police statements that there was a shot fired from within the vehicle where Brown and Wilson struggled. However, Dr. Baden did not have access to Brown’s clothing during his autopsy, which could show residue.
Also, the autopsy indicates that all six shots were fired with Brown facing the officer. Four gunshots were to his right arm and side. Eyewitness accounts state that Wilson shot at Brown at least once while he was running away from him. The report does show that Brown sustained a glancing wound to the right arm, which could have been from behind. However, it is also possible that Brown was shot at while running but not hit. While eyewitnesses say that Brown stopped suddenly after a shot was fired while he was running away, indicating he was hit, it is also very possible that he stopped in his tracks due to the sound of the gunfire.
Brown’s family, their attorney and Dr. Baden will hold a press conference discussing the autopsy report. The press conference is scheduled for Monday morning at 9:30 AM Central Time in Ferguson. It is very likely they will discuss the fact that Brown, who stood 6-foot-4, received a gunshot wound to the top of the head. After a night of turmoil in Ferguson, where police used tear gas to disperse crowds after demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police officers and possibly even shot towards the police line, the results of this autopsy are sure to bring more emotions to the forefront.
Justin Baragona is the Managing Editor at Politicus Sports as well as Senior Editor at PoliticusUSA. He was a political writer for 411Mania.com before joining PoliticusUSA. Politically, Justin considers himself a liberal but also a realist and pragmatist. Currently, Justin lives in St. Louis, MO and is married. Besides writing, he also runs his own business after spending a number of years in the corporate world. You can follow Justin on Twitter either with his personal handle (@justinbaragona) or the Sports site’s (@PoliticusSports).