The family of Ferguson, Mo., slain teen Michael Brown recently released the autopsy performed by Dr. Michael M. Baden, who is the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York. According to reports, Dr. Baden traveled to Missouri on Sunday, August 17, to perform the examination of the body of Brown, and according to Baden’s autopsy report, Brown sustained at least six gunshots, including one bullet which shattered his eye and exited his face. Further, there was a shot to the top of Brown’s head, which would have likely been the final shot. In addition to the shots to the face and head, Brown suffered multiple shots to the arm and chest area. The autopsy possibly contradicts witness statements that Michael Brown was shot in the back. According to the autopsy, there were no gunshots in the back. Here are the next steps in the Michael Brown murder investigation.
There have been a total of three autopsies ordered: The Brown family autopsy, the federal government autopsy, and the St. Louis County medical examiner autopsy. Attorney General Eric Holder‘s autopsy will likely be utilized to determine if excessive force was used. If excessive force was used in the shooting of Michael Brown, that would be a civil rights violation, which can have criminal and civil implications. Meanwhile, the autopsy performed by the St. Louis medical examiner will likely be used to present evidence to the grand jury on the state level in order to determine if murder charges will be filed.
MORE EVIDENCE TO COME
There has been an outcry for evidence to be released to the public, such as officer statements and interviews; however, the shooting of Michael Brown occurred on August 9th, which has been a little more than a week ago. Therefore, the investigation is ongoing and it is not proper for certain information to be released due to the possibility of tainting that evidence by possibly influencing opinions and testimony of other potential witnesses.
More evidence will be coming in the coming weeks. The federal government has had agents scouring the neighborhood to speak with witnesses of the shooting and are asking for videos of the shooting. As the evidence come together, it is anticipated that the case will be presented to a grand jury to see whether formal charges will be filed against the officer.
Eric Guster is an attorney and NewsOne legal analyst. He provides legal commentary regularly on HLN, MSNBC & FOX. He can be followed on twitter @EricGuster