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World & Nation

Pathologist hired by Michael Brown family to testify before grand jury

Ferguson business
Plywood covers what was the glass front of the Ferguson Laundry in Ferguson, Mo., damaged in the unrest following the shooting death of Michael Brown.
(Scott Olson / Getty Images)

A private pathologist who examined Michael Brown’s body is expected to appear this week in front of the grand jury investigating the 18-year-old’s shooting death by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer, a family attorney said Wednesday.

Dr. Michael Baden is expected to give testimony for the confidential proceeding on Thursday, one of the family’s attorneys, Benjamin Crump, told the Los Angeles Times. A spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecutor’s office did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Baden’s appearance in front of the grand jury would be a signal that the grand jurors are not finished hearing evidence surrounding the case, in which Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, shot an unarmed Brown, who was black, on Aug. 9, triggering months of protest.

Speculation has run rampant and anxiety has been building around St. Louis in preparation for the grand jury’s decision over whether Wilson should be criminally charged for Brown’s death. The St. Louis County prosecutor’s office has said the decision will be released sometime in mid- or late November. Local officials and residents fear that a decision not to indict Wilson could touch off a fresh wave of anger and potential violence.

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Baden, a well known New York pathologist who assisted O.J. Simpson’s defense in the 1990s, performed one of the three examinations on Brown’s body, with the others conducted by local and federal officials.

Baden’s preliminary findings were the first to be publicly released a little more than a week after the shooting. Baden said Brown had been shot six times and probably could have survived all but one of the wounds -- a bullet that entered through the top of his head and traveled through the brain. 

Baden’s report suggested that Brown was shot from a distance of 1 to 2 feet. An official autopsy report by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office was leaked to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As police and demonstrators have spent this week preparing for potential unrest after the grand jury’s decision, Brown’s family joined a delegation at Geneva, Switzerland, organized by the U.S. Human Rights Network to give a presentation to the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture committee.

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In a joint statement with Missouri activists, Brown’s family called for the immediate arrest of Wilson and for federal officials to take control of Ferguson’s police department.

Follow @MattDPearce for national news


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