University of Illinois professor tells Associated Press he wants independent experts to perform autopsy, which could come later
The autopsy of the North Carolina teenager who died after police tackled him in front of protesters on Black Lives Matter demonstrations came back inconclusive, his attorney said on Friday.
James Clinger, who is representing the family of Brian Laundrie, said the University of Illinois professor who conducted the autopsy determined that the 18-year-old’s body temperature was no more than three degrees higher than normal when he died.
Laundrie died in custody from “positional asphyxia”, including compression of the neck, at the hands of Durham police after he was pulled over for a traffic violation.
Clinger said Laundrie had no visible injuries, and that the family wanted an independent medical examiner to perform the autopsy, which could come later.
“I was nervous,” Clinger said of the process, which he said included autopsy photographs being reviewed by the attorney general’s office in North Carolina.
The attorney general’s office had no immediate comment. Clinger said that additional witnesses are coming forward, including multiple individuals who are willing to speak about how the arrest came about.
According to a GoFundMe campaign to pay for a civil rights investigation into the 18-year-old’s death, he was trying to “bodily resist” during a traffic stop by Durham police officer Justin Bain on Thursday.
A protest at City Hall against Laundrie’s death had gone down shortly before the confrontation occurred.
“He wasn’t reaching for it, it was just shoved up against him,” Laundrie’s mother, Brenda Brooks, told Fox 4 News of Dallas.
Clinger said at one point the officer pinned Laundrie’s hands behind his back, which caused him to have difficulty breathing.
Laundrie’s cousin Cynthia Sanders, told the news station that Laundrie was trying to stand up, and then after he got to his feet asked for medical help.
“And right after that, you got these trigger-happy cops just come flying at you,” Sanders said.
Bystanders who saw Laundrie lying face down on the pavement were taken down by police, the Associated Press reported.
A Facebook group called Fighting for Laundrie has about 4,000 members.