If you listened to the media reports this past week, it would appear that evidence had come forward to exonerate Officer Darren Wilson in the death of teen Michael Brown in August. It began when the St. Louis Dispatch ran an article titled “Official autopsy shows Michael Brown had close-range wound to his hand, marijuana in system” and quickly propagated throughout the net. If you read it, or the articles based on it, the impression was that the coroner who handled the autopsy had found that Michael Brown had attempted to grab Officer Wilson’s gun, and in so doing the officer was justified in the use of force which resulted in Michael’s death. They even included quotes from a forensics expert, Dr, Judy Melinek, which appeared to indicate familiarity with the case, and justification of the teens untimely death.
Problem is, the autopsy report says nothing of the sort.
Instead, the story as put down in the report damns Officer Wilson. In the report, the evidence fit with Officer Wilson having unholstered his weapon and discharge it, still in the car, against an unarmed teen. It did find that Michael Brown had been exposed to cannabis at least 24 hours earlier, based on his blood and urine toxicology. The amount found, 12 nanograms of delta-9-thc in his blood along with over 150 nanograms of 11-Nor-Delta-9-THC-cooh, at his BMI of over 34, denoted someone who had smoked two cannabis blunts the day before, and at least 4 more over the prior week. Not exactly someone who was a hard core drug offender. But it was above the point of impairment for driving. Thankfully, Michael Brown was walking that day.
Now, many news sites ran with the claim that Michael Brown reached for officer Wilson’s gun. But the autopsy report tells a very different story. The only shot which indicated it was close to Officer Wilson, by having a powder burn or residue, was a burn on the inside of Michael Brown’s thumb, along with a bullet graze, which ran straight down the inside, across his thumbprint. Visualize just a moment, a bullet, in close proximity, so close that it could burn your thumb just below the knuckle, with the bullet heading straight out, away from the hand. A bullet coming out of a barrel likely touching the thumb at the knuckle joint, based on the description.
A thumb attached to a hand which had to be underneath the gun, pushing it upward, for the bullet to travel along that path.
That is not a hand placement for reaching into a car to grab a gun at all. That is not a hand position for wrestling a gun away from someone. That is a hand placement for pushing an already drawn sidearm up and out-of-the-way – a defensive move as someone is attempting to level it at you in order to kill you. It is unknown if Michael Brown had taken any self-defense classes, but this is a valid defensive response when ones life is in danger – to defend against the aggressor as best they can. This means however that Officer Wilson had drawn his sidearm against an unarmed teen before the situation had escalated, something also mentioned directly in the autopsy report. This would imply that Officer Wilson purposefully and willfully engaged with Michael Brown, with the result that the 18-year-old lost his life.
Every other injury to Michael Brown lacked any trace of firearm residue, meaning that they all happened at distance – away from the vehicle. The defenders of Darren Wilson therefore are defending the officers rights to engage in murder, so long as they can come up with a justification post-mortem.
As for the forensics expert, turned out that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had completely misrepresented her in their piece. On “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnel” Dr. Melinek blasted the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for their complete misrepresentation of her statements and went on the record with her findings based on the autopsy report.
At this time, no apology from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch over their gross misrepresentation of the statements given has been released, and it is quite probable that none will be. As for Officer Wilson, he now has even more to explain, such as why he was aiming a loaded firearm at an unarmed teenager through his patrol car window. There is no plausible explanation for such an action that anyone is yet aware of. It is now on Officer Wilson to explain his actions that afternoon in August.