The official St. Louis County Medical Examiner county autopsy report of Michael Brown came out this morning and suggests the teen may not have had his hands raised when he was killed by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9. The image of Brown's raised hands has become a touchstone for the ensuing demonstrations and discussions of the incident, with many protestors raising their own hands to show solidarity.
According to the report, the first two bullets hit Brown at close range, injuring his hand and forearm. This matches Officer Darren Wilson's claim the struggle began with Brown reaching for the policeman's gun. Dr. Michael Graham, a St. Louis medical examiner who reviewed the report at the request of the St. Louis Dispatch, says the record "does support that there was a significant altercation at the car."
Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist based in San Francisco, also reviewed the autopsy reports for the Dispatch. According to her findings, this autopsy doesn't support witness claims that Brown was running away from Wilson's gunfire. Melinek also believes the evidence rules out the hands-up position so many have claimed Brown had when he was shot. According to her analysis, Wilson was facing Brown when he delivered the two shots to the chest, a shot to his upper right arm, and the final shot to his forehead. Melinek explains that the wound on the top of Brown's head suggests he was falling forward toward the shooter.
An earlier autopsy conducted on August 18 by medical examiner Michael Baden revealed Brown was shot at least six times. The latest autopsy confirms this finding.
Questions still remain about the nature of and events leading up to Brown's slaying. Even if Brown didn't die while holding his hands in the air, why was he shot six times — one of which was "execution style?" And, how will the community react to this new information?
Brown's family has not yet responded to the latest autopsy results. Their latest statement came on Monday, when Brown's aunt Sheryl Davis told MailOnline that Wilson committed murder and will "feel the wrath of God's vengeance."
For an in-depth analysis of the autopsy results, visit the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.