Ferguson: Autopsy Consistent With Struggle, Not Surrender (Update: Hallucinations?)

Minutes before he was killed by Ferguson, MO police Officer Darren Wilson, Michael Brown stole about $43 worth of Swisher Sweets cigars from a convenience store.

As Tatler reported at the time, an examination of Brown's social media strongly hinted that the teenager was a marijuana user and that he stole the cigars in order to use them to smoke pot.

An official autopsy of Brown confirms that he was a pot user. He had THC in his system at the time of his altercation with Wilson. The autopsy also suggests that Brown was fighting with, or attacking, Officer Wilson when he was shot.

The official autopsy on Michael Brown shows that he was shot in the hand at close range, according to an analysis of the findings by two experts not involved directly in the case.

The accompanying toxicology report shows he had been using marijuana.

Those documents, prepared by the St. Louis County medical examiner and obtained by the Post-Dispatch, provide the most detailed description to date of the wounds Brown sustained in a confrontation Aug. 9 with Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson.

A source with knowledge of Wilson’s statements said the officer had told investigators that Brown had struggled for Wilson’s pistol inside a police SUV and that Wilson had fired the gun twice, hitting Brown once in the hand. Later, Wilson fired additional shots that killed Brown and ignited a national controversy.

The St. Louis medical examiner, Dr. Michael Graham, who is not part of the official investigation, reviewed the autopsy report for the newspaper. He said Tuesday that it “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car.”

If Brown had had has hands up in surrender, as some witnesses claimed, how could he have gotten shot in the hand?

Dr. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said the autopsy “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.” She added, “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun.”

Reaching for an officer's firearm, not surrendering. And acting under the influence of drugs, not a choirboy headed to college as some have portrayed him.

In addition, blood may have been found on Wilson's gun, another indication that that there was a close-up fight.

The autopsy's findings support theories that Brown believed that Wilson intended to arrest him for the convenience store theft when the officer came upon Brown and a friend walking down the middle of a street, disrupting traffic. If Brown believed his arrest was imminent, and he was on marijuana which impaired his judgement, he may have lashed out at Wilson to resist arrest and get away. If so, that was a fatal mistake.

Update: This is huge, from the Washington Post.

Jurors have also been provided with the St. Louis County autopsy report, including toxicology test results for Brown that show he had levels of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The Post’s sources said the levels in Brown’s body may have been high enough to trigger hallucinations.