A preliminary autopsy obtained by The New York Times has found that Michael Brown “was shot at least six times — twice in the head — with all of the bullets striking him in the front.” Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson was previously identified as the shooter who gunned down the unarmed teen on August 9, though his name was not released by Police Chief Tom Jackson until six days later. To date, police have not released an image of Wilson who reportedly “left town days ago” with family, but social media images of the officer responsible Brown’s death have also been shared with the public.
On Saturday (August 16) Yahoo News released verified pictures of Brown’s shooter, Officer Wilson, via their website and Twitter page.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) August 16, 2014
Yahoo News reports Wilson, 28, received an award for “extraordinary effort in the line of duty” months before he gunned down unarmed teenager Mike Brown and left him in the street for four hours.
“Very proud of my son, Darren Wilson on his receiving a Commendation from his Police Department,” John Wilson wrote on Facebook, February 11, in a caption that was shared with one of two released pictures of the officer. The image shows Darren Wilson smiling with the honor. In a second photo the officer is seen shaking the hand of Ferguson Police Chief Jackson at the same event, earlier this year. Yahoo says they have “confirmed the award through the February 11 Ferguson City Council meeting minutes and photos Wilson’s father posted to his Facebook page.”
NBC News has reported they’ve also verified the two Facebook pictures of Wilson. “The obvious question that it raises is why did it take so long to get that picture out there?” Steve Kornacki said, during a broadcast that too released the police officer’s images. During his report, the political writer and NBC television noted that the Ferguson Police Department has not returned calls for comment on the pictures.
But last week, amid protests and calls for answers about the shooting, Ferguson Police Chief Jackson did have other information to release to the public.
Shortly after confirming Wilson killed Brown, the police chief released a convenience store surveillance video of the slain teenager alleging that Brown was suspected of taking a box of cigars in the store earlier in the day before his death. Police Chief Jackson initially told reporters his officer confronted, and eventually shot, the teen after he had been identified as a suspect in the alleged robbery. Hours later, authorities said the robbery was unrelated to the confrontation and Jackson held a second press conference informing reporters that Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were in fact stopped, “because they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.” When the police chief was asked by reporters why his department chose to release the robbery tape if it was unrelated to the shooting, he replied that he had to because “the media asked for it.”
Despite Ferguson Police’s timing on releasing details about Michael Brown’s shooting, even more details about the events leading up to his death are being made public. According to NewsOne.com:
A preliminary autopsy of Michael Brown — performed Sunday by Dr. Michael M. Baden, the former chief medical examiner for the City of New York — found that the unarmed teenager was shot at least six times, including twice in the head.
“People have been asking: How many times was he shot? This information could have been released on Day 1,” Baden told The New York Times after performing the autopsy. “They don’t do that, even as feelings built up among the citizenry that there was a cover-up. We are hoping to alleviate that.”
According to Baden, who performed the autopsy at the Brown family’s request, although Michael was shot at least six times, only three bullets were recovered from his body. In a diagram of the entry wounds, he noted that the six shots produced numerous wounds with some of the bullets entering and exiting several times, including one that left at least five different wounds.
The New York Times reports Braden’s autopsy is one of at least three that will be performed: “Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said Sunday that the Justice Department would conduct its own autopsy, in addition to the one performed by local officials and this private one because, a department spokesman said, of ‘the extraordinary circumstances involved in this case and at the request of the Brown family.’”
The FBI is also conducting an investigation into Brown’s death, while demonstrators in Ferguson continue to protest his shooting.