Chaotic scene as media awaits word on Jackson autopsy

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Chaotic scene as media awaits word on Jackson autopsy

Postby slopasourroub » Jun 28, 2009 8:36 pm

LOS ANGELES - Determining exactly how Michael Jackson died will take four to six weeks, county forensic examiners said Friday.

Standing in the street outside the county coroner's building, Los Angeles County Department of the Coroner spokesman Craig Harvey said an autopsy on Jackson's body was completed Friday. But additional blood toxicity tests, as well as other tests, need to be carried out and analyzed, he said.

Harvey said Jackson's death did not appear to be suspicious.

"There is no indication of external trauma or foul play," he said, surrounded by a throng of news reporters, who spilled off the sidewalk and onto the street, forcing police to halt traffic.

The news conference was notable more for what officials didn't say than what they did comment on.

Harvey gave reporters just a smattering of details, refusing to discuss what drugs Jackson might have had in his system and saying only that he had been on some unspecified prescription medicine.

He said medical examiners had not identified a cause of death. All further details would be withheld until the four- to six-week period is over, Harvey added.

The autopsy took three hours to perform, which is typical for the procedure, he said.

Media from around the world, police officers, fans, and vendors had gathered outside the coroner's office to await news on the autopsy of the pop singer. By the time Harvey spoke, most media outlets had been gathered for five hours, some even longer.

The corner of Mission Road and Workman Street took on the appearance of a television studio, with hundreds of cables, dozens of cameras, lighting equipment, makeup artists and reporters standing around anxiously waiting for any news about the autopsy, which was performed at about 10 a.m.

Some fans showed up, not so much to remember Jackson but to take in the spectacle.

"My sister didn't believe that this was going on," said Kathy Burke, a medical researcher who works at nearby County-USC Medical Center. "I just came to get a picture to prove it to my sister."

LAPD officers, too, were in awe of the scene.

"I've never said anything like this," said Officer W. Flores, a seven-year veteran of the department, who was dispatched to the scene.

As afternoon approached, more fans began to arrive. Two teenage onlookers held up signs that read, "Honk if you love Michael."

T-shirt vendor Roy from Long Beach, who declined to give his last name, said his business was a little slow.

"It could be better," he said. "Because there's a lot of media guys here, they are just focused on practicing their lines."

Several other vendors also hawked T-shirts, straw hats for those who were in the sun too long, ice cream and even churros. The local Jack in the Box and Chevron mini-mart were swarmed with customers all day.

Many foreign reporters were present, including a Spanish TV station trying to get onlookers to imitate Jackson's dancing for the camera. A Dutch television crew described the scene as uniquely American.

"This is great television, and it could only happen in America," said Michiel Vos, the station's reporter. "We can't copy this...We don't have any celebrities that are big enough."
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