Medical Examiner's Report: James Harper Was Shot By Police In the Chest, Abdomen and Elbow [Updated]
WFAA is reporting that the Dallas County Medical Examiner's office has just released their report on the fatal police shooting of James Harper, whose death brought hundreds of people out into the streets in protest last week. Many in the crowd believed Harper had been shot in the back.
The report states that Harper was shot three times, producing four wounds: once on the left side of the chest, once on the left elbow, leading to a second
exit entrance wound on the lateral left side of the abdomen, and once on the lateral right side of the abdomen. As has been previously noted elsewhere, the cause of death is listed as "homicide," meaning the death was the result of a willful act by someone other than Harper. Update, 3:45 p.m.Harper's body also tested negative for any drugs or alcohol. The autopsy also showed a laceration on his right ear, bruises on his cheeks and forehead, and abrasions to his arms, shoulders, hands, knee and ankles.
We've posted the relevant portions of the report below.
Members of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP) showed up at the Dallas police headquarters this afternoon, asking to speak with Chief David Brown. When it became clear that was not going to happen, they stood outside and spoke to media instead.
Lovell X, the captain of the Panthers, in a black uniform and with a megaphone slung over his shoulder, expressed skepticism about the autopsy report.
"They're gonna hide the real truth," he said. "That's the history of the Dallas police department." He said there were inconsistencies between where the chief originally said Harper had been shot and what the ME report stated (Brown said early reports indicated Harper was shot in the stomach and hand; the report says the shots were in the chest, side of the abdomen, and elbow).
"No one has ever been prosecuted in the history of DPD," the captain said. "We're fed up. That's the bottom line. Every time they come to Dixon Circle, someone dies." They're asking for Office Brian Rowden, who shot Harper, to be indicted and prosecuted.
"[Harper] was unarmed," he added. "They could have Tazed him. Everybody could've been home safe... He might be in jail right now, but he wouldn't be dead."
The NBPP and other community groups are planning a march through the Dixon Circle area, where Harper was shot, on Saturday, August 4. They're supposed to be joined by Fred Hampton Jr., son of the Black Panther who was shot to death by Chicago police in 1969.
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