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Examination of Evidence in the Brad Will Case (English)
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Examination of Evidence in the Brad Will Case (English)

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Physicians for Human Rights International Forensic Program ...

Physicians for Human Rights International Forensic Program

Forensic Consultant Team
Stefan Schmitt, Robert C. Bux, Jeffrey Foggy, Nery S. Osorio

Mexico - March 28 & 29, 2008
Report Submitted April 20, 2008

www.physiciansforhumanrights.org

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Examination of Evidence in the Brad Will Case (English) Examination of Evidence in the Brad Will Case (English) Presentation Transcript

  • Physicians for Human Rights International Forensic Program Forensic Consultant Team Stefan Schmitt, Robert C. Bux, Jeffrey Foggy, Nery S. Osorio Examination of Evidence in the Brad Will Case Mexico - March 28 & 29, 2008 Report Submitted April 20, 2008 www.physiciansforhumanrights.org
  • Case Background
    • October 27, 2006, Bradley Roland Will, a reporter for indymedia.com is shot while filming protests in Oaxaca.
    • Eyewitness testimony and circumstantial evidence indicate that the gunshots originated from beyond a red dump truck, where civilian dressed police officers were firing guns at the protesters.
  • Case Background
    • With no clear evidence to support its theory, the Mexican Attorney General’s Office maintains that Brad Will was shot by protesters standing close to him.
    • In April 2008, PHR-IFP forensic experts discover that one of the two bullets that struck Will was the result of a ricochet, which struck a red solid object, damaging the bullet and transferring red paint to it before striking Brad Will in the chest.
  • Mexican Attorney General (PGR) Response to PHR 2008 Findings:
    • PGR claims damage to bullet is due to:
      • Impact with bone
      • Hammer and chisel used at autopsy to extract projectile
    • PGR claims red paint on bullet was placed there deliberately to mark/label the bullet
    • Canadian experts reiterate these arguments in July 2009 report to PGR.
  • The Ricochet Bullet Extracted at autopsy on October 27, 2006 Photograph taken by PHR-IFP Forensic Expert Team at PGR laboratory on March 28, 2008. Photograph taken at autopsy October 27, 2006, shortly after projectile was extracted.
  • PHR-IFP Forensic Pathologist Dr. Robert Bux:
    • Damage on bullet is not consistent with impacting bone:
        • “Copper jacketing on projectiles, such as the one recovered at the autopsy, typically will not split in this manner by impacting bone. We can see this by looking to the second projectile that struck Brad Will from the same gun. Not only did it embed itself virtually undamaged deep in the left hip bone but it most likely struck the right hip before that.”
  • PHR-IFP Firearms and Tool Marks Expert Jeff Foggy:
    • Laboratory Tests: Chisel damage to metal jacketing of a .38 caliber bullet:
    Example of chisel impact in .38 cal. projectile metal jacket results in straight line impact . Laboratory Chisel
  • The Ricochet Bullet Damage Jagged tear and red material embedded in scratches of bullet recovered at autopsy Microscope photograph taken on March 28, 2008
  • Paint Distribution on the Bullet Bullet at autopsy, shortly after it was extracted October 27, 2006 Bullet at PGR as photographed by PHR-IFP on March 28, 2008 Red coloration is visible and present at autopsy in the same pattern as observed during examination at the PGR by the PHR-IFP Forensic Expert
  • Paint distribution on bullet is not uniform as would be expected from deliberate application of liquid paint. PAINT HERE BUT NOT HERE
  • PHR-IFP Expert Conclusions as to Red Paint on Ricochet Bullet:
    • Paint was present at autopsy on October 27, 2006
    • Inconsistent in distribution with application of liquid paint
    • Paint distribution is contrary to established standard protocols for marking projectiles in firearms analysis
    • Red paint and its distribution is consistent with materials transfer due to impact with a red solid object.
  • Laboratory Test Ricochets Conducted by Firearms and Tool Marks Expert Jeff Foggy
    • Upon ricocheting from a hard and red colored surface:
      • Tearing of metal jacket initiates at the edge of the rifling marks
      • Tears tend to be jagged
      • Red paint transfers
      • Jacket does not separate from lead core
      • Flattening of bullet
    Laboratory Test Ricochet
  • Ricochet Comparison Jagged tears along rifling shoulders Flattening of bullet Laboratory Test Ricochet
  • PHR-IFP Expert Conclusions:
    • Based on the physical characteristics of the projectile examined and subsequent tests conducted in the laboratory, the projectile recovered at the autopsy on October 27, 2006 came into contact with a hard red colored object during its flight prior to striking Brad Will.
    • The physical characteristics of the projectile are highly consistent with a ricochet and are not consistent with damage caused by a chisel (or like instrument) or by it impacting bone.
    • The distribution of the red material is consistent with what is to be expected with impact transfers. It is not the result of deliberate marking.
  • PHR-IFP Expert Conclusions:
    • Any hypothesis about positioning of the shooter needs to take into account a red solid object the bullet could have struck prior to impacting Brad Will in the chest.
    • To date, there is no evidence of a red solid object in the immediate vicinity of Brad Will from which the projectile could have ricocheted in a close-range gunshot scenario, as the PGR claims.