By Amanda Watts, CNN
Weeks after a Georgia woman fell from a police car while in police custody and later died, an autopsy commissioned by her family says her cause of death is consistent with severe blunt force trauma.
Speaking on Monday with attorney Benjamin Crump, Dr. Allecia Wilson, the director of autopsy and forensic Services at the University of Michigan, said Brianna Grier suffered from two fractures, both on the left side of the head, along with several hemorrhages, severe cerebral edema, and compression of brain structure.
Grier fell from the police car while in custody on July 15 in Hancock County, Georgia, CNN previously reported. Her family said she was experiencing a mental health crisis, when they called 911 to request help. She was placed, handcuffed and not in a seatbelt, into the back of a patrol car and when the vehicle started moving, she somehow fell out of the car, landed on her head, Crump alleges.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who is investigating the incident said in a statement last week that their investigators are conducting interviews and “mechanical tests on the patrol car” to see if there were any malfunctions.
In a statement on July 21, GBI noted that Grier’s body would be taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy, but no results have been released.
During the news conference Monday, Wilson showed several black and white slides of a CT scan performed on Grier.
Pointing to a large bump protruding past her skull bone, Wilson said “this represents swelling of the scalp…. The CT scan also demonstrated a fracture on this side of the skull.”
“What can sometimes happen when the brain or the head has an impact at one side, the brain can move inside of the skull, and that can cause injury directly opposite to where the impact occurs,” Wilson said, using her finger to trace a line diagonally across the brain to another injury. “This is a large subdural hematoma, and that’s blood that is underneath them dura on the right side of the brain.”
“What happens when there’s this type of impact to the head, is that the brain can start to swell,” Wilson said. “In this case, the cause of death is consistent with the severe blunt force injury that occurred to the side of the head.”
Fighting back tears, her mother and father said they are speaking out so this doesn’t happen to anyone else. Her parents held photos of Grier, and her twin 3-year old daughters during the news conference.
Crump, who is representing the Grier family, previously told CNN Grier had a history of mental health crises and the family had called police several times in the past.
“When they used to come out to the house they’d call an ambulance service,” Grier’s father Marvin Grier said last month. “The ambulance service would come out and they would take her to the hospital to get some help.”
“But this time they only called the police, and the police didn’t bring the ambulance with them, even though, Ms. Mary (Brianna’s mom) clearly stated she was having an episode,” Crump explained.
A funeral is scheduled for Thursday at 11aET at the West Hunter Street Baptist Church in Atlanta, according to Crump. Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver her eulogy, according to a statement from his office.
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