The bullet that struck Michael Brown fatally in the head was moving from a back to front direction, and Brown appeared to have fallen straight forward onto the ground after he was shot, one of the medical examiners who conducted an independent autopsy tells The Daily Caller.
“The shot to the head was going downward and slightly back to front,” said Prof. Shawn Parcells in a phone interview, clarifying comments he made shortly after he and Dr. Michael Baden announced Brown’s autopsy results at a press conference on Monday.
“When it entered the top of the head it was going in a slight frontal direction,” Parcells told TheDC.
“When we analyzed it, we concluded it was going forward and it was going slightly towards the eye,” he said, clarifying that the bullet moved from the left of the mid-line of Brown’s head towards his right eye.
The trajectory of the bullet, fired from the gun of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, is a crucial piece of information in determining what Brown’s movements were as he was hit with the fatal shot.
Brown’s family and some witnesses claim that he was surrendering with his hands up as Wilson shot him.
“It’s definitely consistent with him bending forward or falling forward,” said Parcells. Brown’s supporters believe that this proves that Wilson fired as Brown was in a state of surrender.
Another witness has claimed that she saw Brown getting down on his knees and holding up his hands in surrender as he was shot.
“The officer kept shooting and he fell to his knees, begging for his life,” a woman who claimed to have witnessed the shooting told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s when he finished him off, shot him in the head.”
Protesters and Brown’s family attorneys have used the slogan “Hands up, don’t shoot” to protest the shooting and Ferguson and St. Louis County police’s investigation. Other eye-witness accounts have not mentioned Brown falling to his knees, though some demonstrators have incorporated standing on their knees into their protest.
Asked about whether Brown’s knees showed any trauma, Parcells said that it is unclear if they made that kind of contact with the ground.
“I didn’t really see any other abrasions to the lower part of the body that would have indicated [that he dropped to his knees],” said Parcells.
“It’s more consistent with him just falling straight forward.”
Parcells said that observing Brown’s clothing is extremely important. Brown was wearing shorts. “From what we saw it’s not apparent that he fell on his knees, but we can’t be sure,” said Parcells.
“If [the shorts] covered his knees, then there would be scuff marks to the pants as well.”