OK City Medical Examiner Changes Autopsy Report In Officer-Involved Shooting After Pressure From Police Chief (VIDEO)
Another police shooting – this time in Oklahoma City – another suspect with bullet holes in his back, and another police report that doesn’t jive with the facts. Only this time, the police found a way to make a bad situation just a little bit better: Change the facts.
After two months of on and off unrest in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting in the back of Michael Brown, police in Oklahoma City found a unique way to resolve the differences between the Coroner’s report and the story told by police in the shooting death of Mark Salazar in August. They asked the Coroner to change his report and in what News Channel 4 called “a complete 180,” the Coroner complied, amending the report to fall “right in line with polices’ version of events.”
The story begins on August 24th, with the country still thoroughly engrossed in the drama unfolding in Missouri. Police Sgt. Ryan Stark tried to take robbery suspect Salazar into custody. A police dog ran the suspect down but the 22-year old resisted and the dog later died. So the police Sergeant resorted to his firearm, shooting 6 times, four of those bullets into Salazar’s back.
Initially, police said Salazar was under the influence of drugs. Not true. They said he had stolen a car. Not true. They said Salazar was shot while trying to stab the dog. The Medical Examiner said the young man was shot while attempting to flee. The report states;
“…Decedent ignored the police warnings to stop and surrender.”
A second autopsy performed by an independent examiner hired by the family of the victim agreed. So the police asked the Medical Examiner to “take another look” at the report. The ME did, amended the report to match police testimony and issued an apology for the “Errors” in the initial report.
I doubt we’ve heard the last on this one. It’s one more case that screams for every police officer to wear a lapel camera at all times when on duty and one more case for better training and screening of new police officers. With crime rates drifting down, police shootings are up.
It has to end.
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