An independent medical examiner found Monday that the Black teenager fatally shot by U.S. police in Columbus, Ohio, was “more likely than not” running away from an officer and not confronting him with “a realistic-looking BB gun” when he was killed, as the police claimed.
According to the official police department report, “Officers followed the males (three Black teenagers suspected of stealing US$10) to an alley and attempted to take them into custody when one (Tyree King, 13 years old) suspect pulled a gun from his waistband. One officer shot and struck the suspect multiple times.”
Since the official autopsy report won't be release for at least six weeks, King's family hired Dr. Francisco Diaz, professor of pathology at the University of Michigan and medical examiner for Wayne County, to perform an independent autopsy.
His conclusions contradicted the police version in a communique issued by the King family’s lawyer, “Based on the location and the direction of the wound paths it is more likely than not that Tyre King was in the process of running away from the shooter or shooters when he suffered all three gunshot wounds.”
Demetrius Braxton, 19, who was running away from the police with King on Sept. 14, gave a similar version to the local media Friday, saying that “the cops said ‘get down’ and we got down, but my friend (King) got up and ran … (and) when he ran, the cop shot him.”
According to human rights activists and organizations, Black people in the U.S. are far more likely to be shot at, arrested and imprisoned by police than any other demographic group. A 2012 study by the Malcolm X Grassroots movement revealed that a Black person was killed by police or surrogate personnel every 28 hours in the U.S.