The objective of this Initiative is to provide a second autopsy free of charge for victims’ families who have lost their loved one due to a police-related killing. The services offered through the Initiative include a second autopsy, discussion of preliminary findings, and final autopsy report.


A police-related killing occurs when an individual is harmed by police officers, including excessive or deadly force, which results in the individual’s death. A police-related killing includes in-custody deaths. In-custody deaths include deaths that arise during contact with law enforcement officers during arrest, pursuit, booking, transport, or incarceration. Therefore, pre-custody deaths are included within in-custody deaths. 

Our Initiative includes a team of board-certified pathologists and a toxicologist. Our board-certified pathologists will work objectively, efficiently, diligently while relying on established forensic principles when conducting the second autopsy. Our pathologists will actively seek the truth to provide the victim’s families with the most medically sound cause of death. 

The Autopsy Request may be completed by anyone with a close relationship with the victim, which may include the victim’s spouse, partner, relative, close friend, or lawyer representing the victim. However, in order to authorize the autopsy, the autopsy authorization must be completed by the victim’s next of kin or power of attorney. The legal standard for next of kin will vary by state. 



An autopsy is conducted by a forensic pathologist to determine the victim’s cause of death. Therefore, autopsies reveal critical information including observations and findings indicating the manner in which a victim died. The victim’s first autopsy is conducted by the coroner or medical examiner in the state where the killing occurred. When a police-related death is involved, various concerns may arise due to the reliability of the first autopsy conducted the objectivity of the autopsy, the risk of manipulation of evidence, potential bias on behalf of the coroner or medical examiner, or use of faulty forensic procedures. 

The Autopsy Initiative is aware that losing a family member due to police-related death is a tragic and heart-breaking experience. Therefore, the Autopsy Initiative seeks to be a resource to the victim’s family member by providing confidence in the forensic procedures used and comfort that the pathologists will conduct the autopsy while operating from a neutral stance. Our board-certified pathologists and a top-level toxicologist, are highly experienced and respected in their field and dedicated to uncovering the truth about the victim’s cause of death.

Click here to view our panel of board-certified pathologists.

We are committed to providing quality services and appreciate your continued support throughout this initiative. If you would like to donate to our cause to continue to advance our mission, your generosity will be greatly appreciated.