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Autopsy Initiative

Free Autopsies for Police Related Killings

FAQ

What is

an autopsy?

A forensic pathologist is a medical examiner who determines the cause of death in an autopsy.

What is a forensic pathologist?

A forensic pathologist is a medical examiner who determines the cause of death in an autopsy. 

Is the

autopsy free?

Yes. The Autopsy Initiative will fully cover the cost of autopsy if you are selected for the initiative.

Who can complete the Autopsy

Request Form?

The Autopsy Request Form 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. Examples of next of kin may include, but are not limited to, the victim’s surviving spouse, children, siblings, or grandparents. 

How is an individual selected for the Autopsy Initiative?

In order to participate in the Initiative, the victim’s family member must be authorized as next of kin to request the autopsy and the victim’s death must occur in a manner set forth in Initiative’s definition of a police-related killing or in-custody death.

How will I know If I am selected?

If selected, the Autopsy Initiative Legal Program Manager will send you an Acceptance Letter to the email address provided on the Autopsy Request Form and will call you at the number provided on the Autopsy Request Form. If your contact information has changed since completing the autopsy request form, please contact us through our contact information provided on our Contact Page.

What services are provided through the Autopsy Initiative? 

The services of the Autopsy Initiative include a second autopsy conducted by a pathologist on our team, a discussion of the pathologist’s preliminary findings with the pathologist and the Legal Program Manager, and a final autopsy report revealing the pathologist’s findings from the second autopsy.

What are the preliminary findings?

Our pathologist will conduct the second autopsy without reviewing the first autopsy report in order to ensure objectivity. The preliminary findings include the pathologist’s findings based off of the pathologist’s observations from the second autopsy, without reviewing the first autopsy report. The preliminary findings may be subject to change based on newly obtained evidence revealed in the first autopsy report, including but not limited to autopsy photographs, police investigative reports, and eyewitness accounts.

How will I obtain the final autopsy report?

The Legal Program Manager will send you a copy of the autopsy report to your email address.