It appears that the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” chant of the local protestors, outside agitators, and violent rioters that have plagued Ferguson, Missouri, since early August is based on fiction, according to experts who have reviewed Michael Brown’s official autopsy.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch report this morning that the official autopsy of Michael Brown supports the version of events told by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, and flatly contradicts the claims of many of the eyewitnesses.
One of the results was apparent confirmation that Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson in his police Tahoe SUV, and was attempting to take Officer Wilson’s gun when he was first shot.
Michael Brown was shot at extreme close range in the thumb.
[St. Louis medical examiner Michael] Graham said the examination indicated a shot traveled from the tip of Brown’s right thumb toward his wrist. The official report notes an absence of stippling, powder burns around a wound that indicate a shot fired at relatively short range.
But Graham said, “Sometimes when it’s really close, such as within an inch or so, there is no stipple, just smoke.”
The report on a supplemental microscopic exam of tissue from the thumb wound showed foreign matter “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm.”
Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”
The autopsy and forensics collected inside and outside Officer Wilson’s Chevrolet Tahoe shows that there was a significant struggle inside the vehicle as the 6’4′, 292 lbs Brown attacked Officer Wilson and attempted to take his gun. Roughly half of all police officers killed in the line of duty were killed by suspects disarming officers and using the gun against the officer.
Dr. Judy Melinek says that the report also contradicts witnesses that say Brown was shot from behind, and says that the wounds to Michael Brown’s arms show that he did not have had his hands up in a “I surrender” position.
Melinek also said the autopsy did not support witnesses who have claimed Brown was shot while running away from Wilson, or with his hands up.
She said Brown was facing Wilson when Brown took a shot to the forehead, two shots to the chest and a shot to the upper right arm. The wound to the top of Brown’s head would indicate he was falling forward or in a lunging position toward the shooter; the shot was instantly fatal.
A sixth shot that hit the forearm traveled from the back of the arm to the inner arm, which means Brown’s palms could not have been facing Wilson, as some witnesses have said, Melinek said. That trajectory shows Brown probably was not taking a standard surrender position with arms above the shoulders and palms out when he was hit, she said.
The autopsy also shows that Michael Brown had a significant amount of THC in his system at the time of this death, suggesting that he may have been impaired at the time of his death.
There is some speculation that a slow and steady leak of information about the events leading up to Michael Brown’s death is part of an attempt by authorities to deflate tensions ahead of the release of the grand jury’s findings, expected to be released in November.
Anarchists, racial power groups, communists, would-be revolutionaries, anti-police groups and the Democrat Party have all attempted to exploit the shooting and the botched police response to further their personal and political agendas.
A leak of the FBI’s report to the New York Times several days ago says that the federal government found no basis for a civil rights case against officer Darren Wilson.
Firearms sales in the area have been far above normal levels since the August shooting, and there has been a dramatic increase in firearms training in the greater St. Louis area.
Walmart stores in the area made the decision to secure ammunition outside of public view after protests at some area stores turned violent last week, and the ammunition at the Ferguson Walmart remained under lock and key to protect it from potentially being looted.
UPDATE: The Washington Post is reporting that “more than a half dozen” Ferguson residents who were eyewitnesses to the shooting largely corroborate police officer Darren Wilson’s version of events.
Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown after they fought for control of the officer’s gun and after Brown moved toward Wilson as they faced off in the street, according to interviews, news accounts and the full report of the St. Louis County autopsy of Brown’s body.
Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has ignited intense debate over how police interact with African American men. But more than a half-dozen unnamed black witnesses have provided testimony to a St. Louis County grand jury that largely supports Wilson’s account of events of Aug. 9, according to several people familiar with the investigation who spoke with The Washington Post.
Some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting, The Post’s sources said, which cast Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer’s life. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they are prohibited from publicly discussing the case.
Where were these witnesses earlier? Were they too afraid to tell their stories, perhaps fearful of retaliation if they contradicted the mythological tale woven by agitators and activists?