U.S.

Michael Brown's Autopsy Results Offer Little Clarification

New autopsy documents released by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reveal what some experts say is evidence Michael Brown was shot at close range.

Michael Brown's Autopsy Results Offer Little Clarification
Getty Images / Joe Raedle
SMS

New details have been leaked about the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and they appear to at least partially confirm the story of the officer who shot him.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch revealed Wednesday it has obtained the official autopsy documents of Brown's death and says the documents show that Brown was shot in the hand at close range.

That would match the story of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown. His account, which has been leaked to both the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and The New York Times, recounts a struggle over his gun between him and Brown in his car. 

A second part of Wilson's leaked testimony — reportedly supported by the autopsy — is that Brown charged him with his arms forward. That would refute witness accounts Brown had his hands up in a surrendering posture with his back turned to Officer Wilson.

The autopsy, one of three, conflicts with the private autopsy commissioned by Brown's family in August, which found no evidence that he was shot at close range.

So we have three leaks concerning this shooting now. Tim Fitch, a former St. Louis county police chief who spoke with KSDK, called the leaks a deliberate media strategy. 

"It was an intentional release with someone familiar with the federal side of the investigation, in my opinion, for the sole purpose of preparing the community for what may be seen for many as bad news, that there's not going to be any federal charge."

Civil rights and criminal defense lawyer Eric Guster assumes the same thing in an article for The Root, writing: "I hope I'm wrong, but I have a feeling that prosecutors are getting ready to drop the hammer on us. They want us to be ready for what every tear-gassed, unlawfully arrested, shot at, beaten, harassed, billy-clubbed protester doesn't want to hear: Wilson probably won't be charged in the killing of Michael Brown."

Still, a legal analyst for CNN says Wilson can only get so much help from the evidence leaked so far.

DANNY CEVALLOS VIA CNN: "Ultimately, that officer will have to come up with justification not for firing his gun the first time, but for each and every bullet that came out of his firearm, whether at the car or away from the car."

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon announced on Tuesday the creation of a special "Ferguson Commission" to conduct an investigation into what social or economical conditions may have led to Brown's death. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.