Big news if true as it seemingly contradicts a key takeaway from Michael Baden’s autopsy, that none of the shots that hit Brown came from the back. As noted in the last post, eyewitness accounts are mixed: Dorian Johnson claims Brown was hit from behind before turning and putting his hands up, an eyewitness who live-tweeted the shooting claims that two shots were fired at his back before Brown turned to face Darren Wilson and was then fired at repeatedly, and a third eyewitness captured on audio claims that Brown initially ran away from Wilson before coming back at him. There’s rough consistency there on Brown’s movements, first fleeing from Wilson and then facing him, but when the shots were fired, which shots hit him, and what Brown was doing when he turned back towards Wilson are uncertain. Now, a new detail: Watch below as one of the lawyers claims that a shot entered the very top of Brown’s head, traveled downward, and exited through his right eye socket. How does that happen to a man who’s 6’4″?
And more importantly, when did it happen? The head shot was obviously a kill shot, which is a problem given that all three eyewitnesses seem to agree that Brown was facing Wilson when the last shots were fired. Plus, the angle of the shot is strange regardless of Brown’s position. How often is a victim (especially a tall one) hit in the apex of his head by a shot fired at street level? I can think of two semi-plausible scenarios. One: Brown is hit by a flurry of bullets in the chest and arm, spins around from the force of the blow, and throws his head back in pain as he starts to drop. The crown of his head would have been facing Wilson for a split second with his eyes momentarily higher than the crown; a shot fired from that angle might have actually traveled upward in passing through the crown and out his eye. The problem, though, is that none of the eyewitnesses report Brown spinning around or facing away from Wilson at the end. In fact, if I understand the dialogue on that eyewitness video correctly, Brown’s body ended up facing where Wilson’s police car was when it happened.
The second, more plausible scenario: After Brown was hit by a flurry in his arm and chest, he remained facing Wilson but began to buckle. His head drooped as he stumbled forward, with the crown suddenly in the line of fire as Wilson shot repeatedly. Everything depends on precise movements here, obviously, but you can imagine how a bullet that actually came from the front might produce a wound suggesting that it had been fired from the back because of the contortion of Brown’s body as it reacted to massive trauma. In fact, something like that is what Baden himself had in mind:
“This one here looks like his head was bent downward,” he said, indicating the wound at the very top of Mr. Brown’s head. “It can be because he’s giving up, or because he’s charging forward at the officer.”
He was facing forward, not backward, even though the wound superficially appears back-to-front. Why the lawyer is nonetheless pushing the “back-to-front” theory when even the family’s independent examiner isn’t adopting it I leave for you to judge.
By the way, according to a source who spoke to WaPo, Brown had marijuana in his system when he died. No word yet on how much. The alleged friend of Wilson’s who spoke to Dana Loesch last week claims Wilson thought Brown was “on something” when he supposedly “bumrushed him,” but that phrase when used to describe a suspect’s aggressive behavior usually means heavier drugs — PCP or meth, something more prone to make a man manic. Oh well. I guess there’s no avoiding a “reefer madness” theory in some quarters now.