Witnesses want you to believe Mike Brown had his hands up and was shot in the back. Protesters have carried the slogan "Hands Up Don't Shoot" into the streets and facebook and twitter are littered with images of African Americans in T-shirts sporting the slogan and carrying signs with the same message.
But as a pattern of Mike Brown's behavior and life in Ferguson emerges it seems Big Mike was just a thug.
There are the facebook photos where Big Mike is flashing gang signs. There is the "strong arm" robbery of the Ferguson Market and Liquor store. The owner of the business so fearful of the local "thugs" that he wouldn't call the police.
There is also the long standing distrust of the Ferguson Police Department, and a culture of violence and "thug life" that the African American community of Ferguson has embraced. This is not all Big Mike's fault, it is hard to escape the culture of "kill the police" and "Fuck the Po Po" which is carried from generation to generation. But it is also this culture that finds young black men laid out on the pavement with most of the grey matter of their brains dislodged from their skull.
The Brown family via attorney Crump asked Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York, to conduct the separate autopsy. Dr. Baden provided a diagram of the entry wounds, and noted that the six shots produced numerous wounds. Some of the bullets entered and exited several times, including one that left at least five different wounds.
During a press conference Dr. Baden noted “This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” he said, indicating the wound at the very top of Mr. Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”
One of the bullets shattered Mr. Brown’s right eye, traveled through his face, exited his jaw and re-entered his collarbone.
The last two shots in the head would have stopped him in his tracks and were likely the last fired.
Mr. Brown, he said, would not have survived the shooting even if he had been taken to a hospital right away. The autopsy indicated that he was otherwise healthy.
But attorney Crump at Dr. Baden's side quickly added: “The sheer number of bullets and the way they were scattered all over his body showed this police officer had a brazen disregard for the very people he was supposed to protect in that community,”
Then adding: “We want to make sure people understand what this case is about: This case is about a police officer executing a young unarmed man in broad daylight.”
Dr. Baden conducted the autopsy at no charge though Crump paid for his airfare and lodging.
Cedar Update 2:57 PM:
The St. Louis County ME released a preliminary report stating much the same facts, adding the Mike Brown had substantial amount of THC in his blood which would be indicative of recently smoking pot. It was also noted that Brown may or may not have had his hands raised.
Cedar Update 3:39 PM:
One of the first videos showing the lifeless Mike Brown seems to support the idea that Big Mike was gunned down in cold blood. But also on the video is an eyewitness account where a man says:
"Then the next thing I know he doubled back toward him cus - the police had his gun drawn already on him –
@6:28/6:29 of video
#1 How’d he get from there to there?
#2 Because he ran, the police was still in the truck – cause he was like over the truck
#2 But him and the police was both in the truck, then he ran – the police got out and ran after him
#2 Then the next thing I know he doubled back toward him cus - the police had his gun drawn already on him –[there is dispute here whether he says "doubled back" or "coming back."]
#1. Oh, the police got his gun
#2 The police kept dumpin on him, and I’m thinking the police kept missing – he like – be like – but he kept coming toward him
#2 Police fired shots – the next thing I know – the police was missing
#1 The Police?
#2 The Police shot him
#2 The next thing I know … I’m thinking … the dude started running … (garbled something about “he took it from him”)
The link to the video with captions is here
Cedar Posts Take: Police are trained to "stop the threat" there is no training to "shoot him in the leg" and see if he'll surrender or shoot twice and see what happens.
Mike Brown at some point in his life learned that his size was his weapon. I doubt the strong arm robbery of Ferguson Market and Liquor was his "first time" as the casual nature of the robbery suggests that he'd gotten away with it in the past.
When Ferguson Police Officer Wallace encountered Brown he likely spoke to him in a fashion that "Big Mike" considered disrespectful. Then "Big Mike" assaulted the Officer in his patrol car and attempted to grab the officer's weapon causing the weapon to discharge at which point "Big Mike" made a run for it.
The Officer then exited the car and ordered "Big Mike" to stop, instead "Big Mike" turned and taunted the officer and then ran towards the Officer. The Officer again ordered "Big Mike" to stop, when he didn't the Officer chose to use deadly force stopping the threat.
The first shots striking "Big Mike" in the arm and chest, dropping him to his knees, and the last two shots striking him in the head, killing him instantly.
The position of the body in the street gives weight to the suggestion that there was significant forward body motion at the time he was shot and the autopsy supports this theory.