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Forensics Expert: Autopsy Shows Mike Brown’s Hands Not Raised

Forensics Expert: Autopsy Shows Mike Brown’s Hands Not Raised

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Dr. Lawrence Koblinsky, a forensics expert at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice said that the wounds on the body of Mike Brown are not consistent with him having his hands up at the time he was shot in an interview broadcast on Wednesday’s “OutFront” on CNN.

“Based upon the positioning of the wounds, the entrance and exits and then re-entrance, based upon all of that and the right arm wounds, it’s just inconsistent with him having his hands up. I understand other people might argue, and interpret it differently” he said.

Koblinsky added, “there’s also blood, Michael Brown’s blood on the gun, and there’s also Michael Brown’s tissue on the outside of the driver’s side door. When you put all of that together, it really fits with a struggle that took place inside the vehicle.  And again, it supports the story of the police officer rather than the eyewitness testimony,” although he cautioned that it was not possible to tell whether Brown was reaching for Officer Darren Wilson’s gun. 

The Brown family’s attorney told CNN “Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown multiple times and killed him even though he was more than 20 feet away from his patrol car. This is the crux of the matter.”  CNN also noted that eyewitnesses have claimed Brown’s hands were raised when he was shot, and that eyewitness Dorian Johnson claimed Wilson tried to pull Brown into his patrol car.

There have been mixed interpretations of the forensic evidence and conflicting eyewitness testimonies in the case. St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not a participant in the official investigation, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch that forensic evidence “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car,” but told the Associated Press that he could not determine if Brown was grabbing for Wilson’s gun.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Judy Melinek, told the Post-Dispatch the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” And “if he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

A report released Wednesday by The Washington Post says that sources familiar with the grand jury investigation into Brown’s death  claimed “some of the physical evidence — including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests — also supports Wilson’s account of the shooting,” “blood spatter evidence shows that Brown was heading toward the officer during their face-off,” Although, the Post cautions that their sources also say “analysis of the evidence did not reveal how fast Brown was moving.”

Chairman of George Washington University’s Department of Forensic Sciences, Victor W. Weedn, also told the Post “somebody could have raised their hands way above their head and lowered their hands and then be shot…an autopsy will never rule out that the hands were above the head. It can only say what happened at the time of the shooting.” Adding, “with the graze to the right arm, it appears the arm was in a vertical position, suggesting that it was closer to down by his side, but it could have been higher.”

The Post further reported that sources told them “Seven or eight African American eyewitnesses have provided testimony consistent with Wilson’s account, but none of them have spoken publicly out of fear for their safety.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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