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Autopsy: Ferguson Shooting Was Close Range

A protester yells at a Missouri State Police officer during a protest at the Ferguson, Missouri, police headquarters, Oct. 10, 2014.

Following months of protests against excessive force by police in Ferguson, Missouri, a review of the official autopsy report says Michael Brown was shot at close range and did not have his arms raised in surrender at the time.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper obtained the St. Louis County medical examiner's autopsy and an accompanying toxicology report that shows the 18-year-old Brown had used marijuana.

The newspaper reported medical examiner Dr. Michael Graham and another pathologist not involved in the investigation reviewed the report and said it indicates Brown may have been reaching for Officer Darren Wilson’s weapon.

Some witnesses have said Brown had his hands raised when Wilson approached with his weapon and fired repeatedly. But the autopsy review indicates Brown's wounds were consistent with Wilson’s reported claim that he and Brown struggled inside his police car.

The examination “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car,” Dr. Graham said.

Medical examiner's office administrator Suzanne McCune confirmed the posted information was accurate, but said her office will not officially release the documents until the investigation is complete. The newspaper did not say where it obtained the documents.

Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump told The Associated Press on Wednesday the autopsy offers no insight into why Wilson killed Brown.

Brown has had three autopsies. The Post-Dispatch obtained the official autopsy released to prosecutors, but not the public, for its latest story. A private autopsy done at the behest of Brown’s family, discussed in detail at an August press conference largely agreed with the official autopsy, but said Brown had not been shot at close range. A third autopsy, the results of which have not been released or leaked, was performed by the U.S. Justice Department.

On Tuesday, Governor Jay Nixon appointed a special commission to look at how the region can move forward after the concerns raised by the shooting and its aftermath.

Some information for this report comes from AP and Reuters.

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