The recent release of an autopsy report conducted on Michael Brown by federal officials has listed the cause of the Missouri teen’s death as a homicide and confirming that Brown died after shot multiple times by former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The federal autopsy results reflect the details discovered in two previous autopsy reports conducted by the St. Louis Medical Examiner’s office and a private coroner employed by Brown’s family.
The report states that Michael Brown suffered several potentially lethal injuries which resulted from him being shot at least six times as he attempted to flee from officer Wilson. The most lethal injuries were those to his head, which featured severe damage to his skull and brain, and a severe chest injury, which the Justice Department report states could have been resulted as an exit wound from a shot that entered through his arm. The report also found a small gunshot wound on Brown’s hand which examiners claimed was a result of Wilson’s weapon being fired at close range.
The results of the federal report ruling Michael Brown’s death a homicide, which was composed by the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s System on behalf of the U.S Justice Department, were released on Monday by the St. Louis Prosecutor’s office. Bob McColloch, the Prosecuting Attorney of St. Louis County who oversaw the grand jury proceedings in the Michael Brown case, released the results along with other evidence considered by jurors, but McColloch gave little explanation as to why certain information was released or how such information was selected.
The release of the report comes amid the disclosure of other information and evidence which was presented to the grand jury during the Brown trial, including alleged audio of Wilson discharging his weapon at Brown and eight transcripts of FBI interviews with individuals considered to be possible witnesses of the shooting itself. Much of the information released on Monday in relation to the details surrounding Michael Brown’s death was identical to documents and evidence released by McColloch on November 24 after the grand jury in Ferguson opted against indicting former officer Wilson to stand trial for Brown’s death. Although testimony from the Air Force Pathologist who conducted Brown’s autopsy on behalf of the Justice Department was released with the previous batch of information in November, the official report itself was not disclosed to the public until Monday, almost two weeks later.
Also of interest is the disappearance of certain information which was admitted during trial for jurors to consider, but has since been omitted from troves of information released by the St. Louis Prosecutor’s Office in recent weeks. An example of such missing information is the transcript and audio recording from a two-hour interview conducted between the FBI, St. Louis County police and Dorian Johnson, a friend of Michael Brown’s who was with Brown when the shooting occurred. Johnson was walking with Brown when the pair were confronted by Wilson, who Johnson claims initiated the violent confrontation and fired at least once at Brown as he attempted to flee.
The transcript of court proceedings released back in November featured a multitude of documents, audio recordings and visual evidence, which included seven video clips featuring media interviews between Johnson and various news outlets regarding the altercation between Michael Brown and former officer Darren Wilson. The transcript also mentions that jurors listened to an audio recording of an August 13 interview between Johnson and federal and county investigators, although members of the Associated Press were unable to locate the transcript or recording of this interview after combing through both batches of information released by the St. Louis Prosecutor’s office in November and on Monday. Spokesman for McCulloch’s office Ed Magee confirmed that certain information, such as the transcripts of interviews between the FBI and witnesses, was not released by the prosecutor’s office due to objections made by the Justice Department, “Those reports are not ours to release,” Macgee said.
In light of the recent release of the federal autopsy report labeling Michael Brown’s death a homicide, reporters and activists throughout nation are now awaiting the disclosure of additional information to help paint a more comprehensive picture of the grand jury proceedings. When McColloch released the trove of information regarding the Brown case in November, he did so with the claim that he wished to increase transparency surrounding the case and provide the public with unrestricted access to information so that they could form their own conclusions about the incident. On Monday, hours after stating that his office was withholding information at the behest of the Justice Department, Macgee announced that additional information regarding the grand jury testimony in the Brown case was ready to be released.
By Charles Stephen Craun
The Huffington Post
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