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Medical examiner whistleblower: Zimmerman shot Martin IN THE BACK, and prosecutors suppressed the evidence


Dr. Shiping Bao, the Volusia County medical examiner who was in charge of handling slain-teenager Trayvon Martin's body in February 2012, has come out and claimed that the prosecution team was biased against the African-American teenager, and intentionally lost the case. According to Bao's attorney, Willie Gary, the medical examiner's office, the state attorney's office and the Sanford Police's "general attitude was that [Martin] got what he deserved. He was in essence told to zip his lips. 'Shut up. Don't say those things.'" Dr. Bao is speaking out in the wake of having been fired from the m.e.'s office, and is planning a $100 million lawsuit against the State of Florida.

According to the former assistant coroner, the results of Martin's autopsy clearly showed that, despite Zimmerman's statements regarding their altercation, there was no feasible way for Martin to have been on top of Zimmerman when the gun was fired, because the bullet entered Martin's back.

Bao claims that the prosecution never actually asked him the questions that were crucial to the success in the case, and that he changed his opinion from the time he initially examined Martin and the time he was on the stand. Bao and his attorney say they believe he was fired for questioning the way the case was handled, and possibly for not going long with the desired narrative.

Dear Lord. I always figured the Prosecution threw the case, but not this way.

Once again, I'm not cynical enough!

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Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

I'd guess that Dr. Bao thought he'd keep his job if he kept his mouth shut. I imagine it will be difficult for him to find work again in his field, since far too many governments prize the willingness of their employees to keep their mouths shut.

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

Why now, after being fired, is my question too. Somebody involved in a $100,000,000 lawsuit wants to look like the good guy and wants the other side to look as bad as possible, and saying they covered up something this significant would do it.

Plus, if true, he was part of the cover-up.

Plus, it makes no sense. The coroner's office will have detailed photos of the whole autopsy process. There's a rather big difference between entry and exit holes in bullet wounds. Bao isn't the only one who would have noticed a "mistake" of that magnitude. With a $100,000,000 lawsuit in the offing, you can be sure the body will be exhumed to check if the photos aren't sufficient.

To me, given all the murky motives and the relative ease of checking the facts, I'd want to see what some unbiased outside experts -- preferably so far outside they're from South Africa or Nigeria -- have to say.

jo6pac's picture
Submitted by jo6pac on

not surprised by this and I doubt there will be another trial with this new info by FLA or eric the holder. Sad. I hope he lives long enough to win the lawsuit then again with today wonderful court system in the New Amerika they'll put him in jail.

editor_u's picture
Submitted by editor_u on

I have no trouble believing that the prosecution threw the case, even without this new allegation. But do you have anything besides an AlterNet link? The author of that article fails to include information on (or links to) any primary references or sources.

Given their previous interest in the Trayvon Martin case -- and current interest in Zimmerman's new alleged exploits, one would think that at least one mainstream news outlet, however insignificant, would have made reference to this development.

After reading the original post yesterday, I searched the New York Times and the internet, and did find links to articles regarding the firing of Shiping Bao (the medical examiner), his lawsuit, and his statement that the prosecution threw the case.

But there seems to be nothing at all about his allegation that Martin was shot in the back, outside of internet articles linked to, referring to, or based on, the AlterNet piece. I repeated the searches this morning with the same results.

editor_u's picture
Submitted by editor_u on

Thanks, hipparchia,

The update at to which you linked says:

1:38 PM EST, 9/14/13: In response to our inquiry, Alternet reporter Rod Bastanmehr apologized for the “potential inaccuracy” in his report which alleged that Dr. Shiping Bao claimed George Zimmerman shot Trayvon in the back.

"Potential inaccuracy"? How about unverified rumor, egregious misreading (between the lines) or something pulled out of…

AlterNet itself (as of only a very short time ago) has finally appended this to Bastanmehr's article:

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story said that Dr. Bao claimed Martin had been shot from the back. That cannot be verified at this time. Reports indicate that he did however say that examiniation [sic] of the wound revealed that Martin could not have been on top of Zimmerman at the shooting, and the physical evidence indicated that Martin could not have been the aggressor.

though their own addendum stops short of allowing that the author (or AlterNet) "apologized" for anything at all.

I would think that the medical examiner would be in very hot water legally – and that this would be very big news indeed – if he did, in fact, admit to his part in such a coverup.

Submitted by hipparchia on

AlterNet itself (as of only a very short time ago) has finally appended this to Bastanmehr's article:

i like alternet, they cover important stuff that the msm ignores, but like most places on the interwebz, their editing/fact-checking isn't especially trustworthy.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

even for the policy stories that are critical of Democrats since they are really very few and seem intended to look like the publication is not in bed embed with Democrats. My trust is at an all time low with "progressive" publications.

Submitted by hipparchia on

i like bill moyers, a lot, but i've pretty much not trusted anybody since walter cronkite. and yeah, there's pretty much nobody - tv, radio, newspapers, magazines, blogs - to turn to.

the far-right radicals started taking over the republican party decades ago, and have managed to purge it of its liberals, moderates and even conservatives. many of those liberal, moderate and even conservative republicans became democrats, and like it or not, the democratic party right now is the only thing standing between us and the unholy coalition of theocrats, neo-confederates and neo-nazis. i'd like for the liberals and the social democrats and the socialists to take over the democratic party and kick out all the republicans, but until that happens, i'm not about to blame anybody for "being in bed with" the democrats.

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

It's been a real education for me to see how liberals and lefties have responded to a stream of "say what?" reports in this case. Guess I should be less a bit less judgmental the next time I see the gullible on the right enthusiastically embracing some kooky, but oh so pleasing to their world view, rumors of some sort.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

Yes, you probably should. You certainly should if you think that everyone who reads something like this is going to thoroughly research reports that at least sound plausible based on their own preconceptions, and instead engage in some idle speculation. If you think that's how people will normally behave, you came to the wrong planet.

OTOH, one of the nicer things about this thread is that some folks did treat the report skeptically, and when they found contradictory information, they weren't called names or otherwise insulted for doing so. That happens far too many places, and not just on conservative blogs, either.

For my part, while I was skeptical about the report for the obvious reasons, I could also think of reasons why someone in Bao's position would be motivated to keep his mouth shut. That opinion is based on spending the better part of my career working with the federal government. Far too often, people in charge value loyalty at least as much as competence. As others here have noted, there might be other motivations involved, and I don't discount those possibilities, either.