Stores are boarding up and gun shops near Ferguson, Mo. are seeing an increase in business ahead of the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting, but if a key testimony is any indication, Ferguson residents may have to wait a few more days for a verdict.
According to a Huffington Post report, a private forensic pathologist who performed an autopsy on the slain teenager is expected to testify before the grand jury. A decision on whether to charge Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting is expected mid-November.
Attorney Benjamin Crump confirmed that former New York City Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Michael Baden is scheduled to testify Thursday. A spokesman for St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch declined comment. Messages seeking comment were left with Baden.
Crump said Brown’s parents are pleased Baden will testify, but skeptical about the process.
“Their reaction was that they want the jury to hear from an independent witness not associated or controlled by the police department,” Crump said. “They feel that all the local authorities are going to work together to try to exonerate the killer of their child.”
Brown’s parents, who are currently in Geneva to testify before the U.N. and discuss policing policies in the U.S., aren’t alone in their skepticism. Many, like Fordham Law School professor Jim Cohen, are questioning why Baden’s testimony came so late in the proceedings.
“That makes me concerned about the whole presentation to the grand jury,” Cohen said. “If they (prosecutors) didn’t present this medical examiner’s testimony and report, it does suggest it was not a balanced presentation.”
If you recall, Baden performed the autopsy in August at the request of Brown’s family. He found that the teenager was hit six times. Baden did not find gunpowder residue on Brown’s body — a later autopsy performed by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner’s office did, indicating Brown had been shot at close range. Baden said at the time of his autopsy he was not given Brown’s clothing.
Crump said the pathologist has asked to see several pieces of evidence before he testifies. A third autopsy, performed by the Justice Department, has not been released.
SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: News Inc.