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Black man killed by US police shot in back of head: Report

31 July 2015 14:40



An African-American man killed by police in Virginia earlier this month was shot in the back of the head, according to an autopsy report.

The report was obtained by the family of 23-year-old Kawanza Jamal Beaty, who was shot to death by police on July 4 in Newport News.

The autopsy report was conducted by the chief medical examiner’s office in Norfolk and made available to reporters on Thursday after a news conference in front of Newport News City Hall.

The autopsy indicates a bullet wound on Beaty’s head behind his left ear. The bullet was found lodged in his right temple after it exited the skull.

The incident happened after police received information about a man matching Beaty’s description who was carrying a sawed-off shotgun on the streets of Newport News.

When officers approached Beaty, police say he began walking, then ran from the officers, ignoring police calls to drop the weapon after a foot chase.

An off-duty narcotics investigator working a security shift at a nearby apartment complex fired three shots at Beaty, hitting him once.

However, Beaty’s family disputes many of the facts of the case, including whether he had a shotgun. The family alleges the weapon found at the scene of the shooting had no fingerprints or DNA from Beaty.

The family expects to file a wrongful death or federal civil rights lawsuit within a week or two, according to an attorney for the family, James Ellenson.

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