The medical examiner who conducted an autopsy on Michael Brown says that marijuana could have made the 18-year-old act “in a crazy way.”
The Brown family hired Dr. Michael Baden to conduct an independent autopsy on Brown, who was fatally shot by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9.
Baden’s autopsy was conducted on Sunday, and he announced his findings on Monday. Also on Monday, The Washington Post reported that an autopsy conducted by St. Louis County medical examiner Mary Case found marijuana in Brown’s system.
The finding prompted Fox News host Greta van Susteren to ask Baden what effect marijuana could have had on Brown.
“Does the fact that they found marijuana, does that exclude the fact that there might be other drugs in his system, or even if the marijuana was laced with anything. … I mean, is that the final analysis or could there be more information to come in terms of the toxicology?”
Baden said that he had not seen the toxicology report itself, but he provided background information on how marijuana might affect someone.
“Very important with marijuana is the levels of the different drugs that are present in marijuana to have an opinion as to whether or not he might have been affected by the marijuana so that he may have been acting in a crazy way and may have done things to the police officer that normally he would not have done,” he told van Susteren.
Brown’s demeanor before Wilson shot him is a crucial point in determining if Wilson shot the 18-year-old in self-defense.
Wilson has reportedly claimed that Brown punched him in the face and attempted to grab his weapon during a struggle in Wilson’ police car. After Wilson pursued Brown and ordered him to “freeze,” Brown turned around and charged him, the officer reportedly claims.
Brown showed aggression in another incident just minutes before his encounter with Wilson. Video surveillance showed Brown stealing cigars from a nearby convenience store and shoving a store clerk who confronted him.
Nevertheless, Brown’s family and some witnesses who have spoken publicly say that Brown was surrendering with his hands up in the air when Wilson fatally shot him in the head.
In his autopsy, Baden determined that Brown was shot at least six times. Two of those wounds were in the head, and four were in the right arm. The fatal shot hit Brown in the apex of his head and was traveling at a back to front trajectory, according to the autopsy.
That suggests that Brown was bending forward when the bullet hit him.
Baden said in other interviews Monday that Wilson firing six shots indicates that he used excessive force.