The publishing of Michael Brown’s official autopsy report, as well as a St. Louis Post-Dispatch source’s description of officer Darren Wilson’s account of events, offered new revelations to the already controversial Ferguson case Tuesday night.
An unidentified source told the Post-Dispatch that Wilson testified to investigators 18-year-old Brown struggled for his firearm before eventually charging at him.
Two experts not directly involved with the case added to the newspaper that the official autopsy report appears to support Wilson’s claim that a struggle did take place before the fatal shooting.
Further, a toxicology report revealed that Brown tested positive for marijuana.
A source with knowledge of officer Wilson’s statements offered the Post-Dispatch his account of events, in a story published Tuesday night.
According to the unidentified individual, Wilson had just completed an unrelated call when he spotted Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson walking in the middle of a public street. Wilson quickly ordered them to move to the sidewalk, the source said, before recognizing Johnson’s clothing matched a recent radio alert about a nearby robbery.
Wilson called for backup before driving his vehicle to confront the two, the source told the Post-Dispatch. After placing the SUV in park, Wilson said he tried to exit the vehicle, the source said. That’s when he contends Brown suddenly slammed the door shut and punched him in his face through the open window, according to the source.
Unable to reach for his baton, and because the close-range made the use of pepper spray also dangerous to him, Wilson drew his gun, the source told the Post-Dispatch. An altercation took place and Brown, who Wilson described as very strong, attempted to take control of his firearm, according to the individual’s account of Wilson’s testimony.
Wilson was struck again and almost lost consciousness, according to the source, as Brown moved for his gun. Wilson apparently attempted to pull the trigger, but the gun did not fire, the source told the Post-Dispatch. Wilson attempted again, this time successfully. He told investigators that he thought the bullet hit Brown in the hand, according to the source.
As the two continued to fight, additional rounds were fired, Wilson testified, according to the source. Eventually, Brown tried to escape and Wilson started to chase him, the source told the Post-Dispatch.
According to Wilson, Brown eventually stopped and turned around before charging toward him and ignoring orders to halt, the source said. As Brown ran toward him Wilson fired multiple shots, mortally wounding the 18-year-old, the source told the Post-Dispatch.
The Autopsy Report
Brown’s official autopsy report was published by the Post-Dispatch Tuesday night and appears to corroborate elements of Wilson’s testimony.
— David Carson (@PDPJ) October 22, 2014
St. Louis city medical examiner Michael Graham reviewed the report for the Post-Dispatch — though he’s not formally part of the investigation — and said it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.”
Further, Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, told the Post-Dispatch that it “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.”
[sharequote align=”center”]“If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”[/sharequote]
“If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun,” she added to the newspaper.
Melinek also noted to the Post-Dispatch that she did not believe the autopsy supported claims made by witnesses that Brown was shot while surrendering with his hands up.
A toxicology test conducted on Brown revealed that the 18-year-old had tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly referred to as THC, in his blood and urine.
[sharequote align=”right”]”…he may or may not have been impaired at the time of his death.”[/sharequote]
“The detection of THC in the postmortem blood of Michael Brown really indicates his recent use of marijuana (within a few hours) and that he may or may not have been impaired at the time of his death,” Alfred Staubus, a forensic technology expert at Ohio State University, told the Post-Dispatch.
Critics of the Ferguson Police Department told the Post-Dispatch that Wilson’s testimony was not in accordance with the facts of the case.
Brown family lawyer called it “absurd from beginning to end,” adding that it was a “connoted version of events that nobody supports.”
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