It is really disturbing to me for arrogant hate-mongers like Megyn Kelly to jump to false conclusions based on her layman interpretation of autopsy reports, as she did when she interviewed the Brown family attorney, Mr. Crump on The Kelly File on Fox News a few days ago.
The autopsy of cop shooting victim Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, by Dr. Norfleet, says that he had a wound in his forearm from the back to front. Kelly said (and falsely assumed) based on some statement from another pathologist, Dr. Melinek, that this means he did not have his hands up. This is a false statement. (Note: that the front of the hand is the palm on an anatomic drawing with the arms down at the side of the body). Also, Dr. Melinek states that she was misquoted in a pathology expert blog here.
Michael Brown could have had his elbow bent and his palm facing his face trying to reflexively protect his face and body from the volley of shots fired at him that seems clearly excessive and perhaps murderous by Officer Wilson.
Every shot is an isolated moment in time. Each shot does not explain what happened before or after, nor does it explain motivation behind each shot or action.
The autopsy report is also consistent with an innocent person being grabbed by a wildly violent and bullying cop who threatened Brown by pulling out his gun while he had Mr. Brown at his car door, and then Brown with his hand trying to push the gun a way, before getting away from the car.
The witnesses said Brown had his hands up and was 20 feet from the officer’s car when he was hit by a volley of shots, after getting away from the car where the first shot to his hand occurred.
Witnesses said Brown was facing Ofc. Wilson at that point. The two shots to his chest and shot to his upper arm are consistent with that story.
If his right elbow was bent and his palm faced his face then the forearm wound would be “back to front”. It proves nothing about the position of his arms just before being shot by the volley from Ofc. Wilson’s weapon.
The fact that the chest wounds were somewhat downward and both head wounds were clearly from the top downward means that Brown was either falling down with his head below the level of Ofc. Wilson’s gun or nearly crawling towards Wilson when Brown was shot in the head twice (one bullet at the top of his head downward and one from the forehead down through his face and out his jaw – not straight on backward, but downward).
The pathologist who made statements about the autopsy by Dr. Norfleet, Dr. Judy Melinek, cautioned that her statements were not definitive and that there were many possible explanations for the wound to his hand and arm.
The forearm wound could also have occurred if Brown was running away from Ofc. Wilson and had his arm down at his side, but who runs with their palms facing forward? This is unlikely.
The wound to his hand does not prove Brown was trying to grab the gun and shoot Ofc. Wilson. It could also mean that Ofc. Wilson was trying to shoot unarmed Brown and Brown was trying to save his life by pushing the gun away!
Brown could have had his hands up, but when he started to be shot with the first bullets then turned his palm towards his face as he was falling down on his face.
The autopsy report can only collaborate the reports of witnesses. I believe a half-dozen witnesses would not all lie about what they saw.
Clearly, the only way Brown could be shot in the very top of his head downward (as a tall man) by an officer, is if his head was lower than the gun or at the level of the gun, which would have easily occurred as Brown was collapsing from the chest wounds and falling on his face.
Why would the Ofc. shoot a man twice in the head when he is nearly on the ground after already shooting him five times? That to me is homicide.
If Brown was committing a crime is not the issue. The degree of force used by Officer Wilson is the issue. Brown was unarmed! Whether Brown was 100 lbs or 300 lbs should also not make too much of a difference if, as the witnesses appear to be saying, Brown was not within arms reach of Wilson, so did not pose an immediate threat to him after he ran away from the police car.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that it is not legal for an officer to use lethal force against a nondangerous suspect running away in the following case where police shot a 15 yr old in the back of the head and killed him, when he was trying to climb over a fence and flee after attempting a buglary: Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).
Memphis, Tennessee, 1974. Police are looking for a prowler. They spot an unarmed teenager in the back yard. He tries to get away, climbing over a chain-link fence. A policeman shoots the boy in the back of the head.
“The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead.” Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).