Following the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed African-American teenager, a tremendous amount of scrutiny has been directed toward the results of his autopsy. While protests and riots turn Ferguson, Mo., on its head, Brown’s family seeks answers to the questions surrounding his death. Preliminary results of a private autopsy carried out by former New York City chief medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, have revealed that although Brown was shot six times, it was the final shot through the head that killed him.
The Justice Department is currently in the midst of a thorough review of the case due to allegations that Brown’s basic civil rights were violated. Witnesses who claimed to have seen police officer Darren Wilson shoot Brown say the teen had raised his hands to surrender just before he was gunned down. While an autopsy performed by the St. Louis County medical examiner concluded that Brown died as a result of his gunshot wounds, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a private autopsy on Sunday at the request of Brown’s family.
"Due to the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family, Attorney General Holder has instructed Justice Department officials to arrange for an additional autopsy to be performed by a federal medical examiner," Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said in a Sunday statement. "This independent examination will take place as soon as possible. Even after it is complete, Justice Department officials still plan to take the state-performed autopsy into account in the course of their investigation."
According to Baden, "All of these gunshot wounds were survivable except the one at the top of the head." Four of the gun shots that struck his right arm seemed to have entered through the front of his body. The Brown family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said that the wounds on the teenager’s arm corroborate the allegation that he was surrendering at the time he was shot. The fatal shot to the top of his head also seems to confirm “that he was executed.” While there was no gun powder found on Brown’s clothing, Baden estimates that the muzzle was “at least 1 or 2 feet away.”
"It confirms what the witnesses said, that this was an execution. That's what the witnesses said from day one," Crump told USA Today. "It's so hard for his mother and father to even deal with the notion that this is what happened. It's obvious his hands were up at some point because you can tell how the bullet goes from in and out."