(/sites/default/files/uploads/2014/08/sharpton.jpg)Dr. Baden’s autopsy results put an end to the story line that Michael Brown had been shot from behind, and it brands as liars those witnesses who made up that story and claimed to have seen it happen.
And so now the people who want officer Wilson to be found guilty have retreated to a fall-back story that they think is consistent with the autopsy results: six shots was excessive and shows an officer out of control and firing wildly, needlessly endangering
life. But that story too, won’t work, because when we look at the pattern of the shots, they show exactly the opposite.
Two of the six shots are to the head, and everyone agrees that those must have been the last two, since they would have caused Michael Brown to fall to the ground. What about the other four? They are all to the right arm. Far from firing wildly, the officer was consistently aiming for the same part of the body. There is only one reasonable explanation for that. Officer Wilson was trying hard NOT to kill Michael Brown. He was trying to wing him, hoping that would stop his forward rush. That’s why he fired so many shots at the area of the right arm. The lethal shot was fired only after he had failed in
many attempts to stop Brown by winging him. Rightly understood, the six shots are not incriminating, but exculpatory.
Those first four shots also make nonsense of the other part of the revised story line: that Brown had his hands up in a gesture of surrender. Why would anyone shoot four times at a raised arm? That would surely be bizarre, especially for a man supposed to be full of lethal malice. The competing explanation makes perfect sense: the officer was firing at the right edge of the body to stop the forward-rushing Brown without killing him.