Friday, August 15, 2014
We have some new information to pass along about the Michael Brown case.
In case you do not know, police have identified Darren Wilson, 28, as the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.
Twitter has banned Anonymous for identifying the wrong individual as the shooter.
The following evidence is interesting but irrelevant to deciding whether the shooting was justified.
Because the officer’s conduct must be judged by what he knew and the totality of the circumstances present at the scene when he fired the fatal shots.
Ferguson police chief, Thomas Jackson, has conceded that the officer did not know about the robbery.
The Ferguson Police Department has released a police report regarding a convenience-store robbery in which a suspect used physical force to steal a box of cigars from a store employee. The robbery was recorded by a store video.
The attorney who represents Dorian Johnson, who is Michael Brown’s friend, has confirmed that Michael Brown was the person who stole the box of cigars.
Jackson has been accused of releasing the report to justify the shooting and eliminate sympathy for Brown. He claims he released the report in response to a FOIA request.
This takes us back to the totality of the circumstances that Wikipedia has summarized.
On August 9, at around 12:00 p.m., Brown and Johnson were walking to Brown’s grandmother’s house. Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson drove up to them and ordered them to move off the street and onto the sidewalk. An altercation ensued, and a gun within Wilson’s police vehicle was fired, after which Brown and Johnson began to flee. Wilson left his vehicle and pursued them, then fired an unspecified number of shots, fatally wounding Brown. Brown died approximately 35 feet (11 m) from the police cruiser in the 2900 block of Canfield Drive. According to CNN correspondent Ana Cabrera, documents show that less than three minutes passed from the time that Wilson encountered Brown to the time of Brown’s death.
According to Michael Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, who was walking with Brown at the time, the police officer pulled up beside them and said, “Get the fuck on the sidewalk. Johnson said the young men replied that they were “not but a minute away from [their] destination, and [they] would shortly be out of the street.”
Without saying anything further, Johnson states that the officer drove forward, only to abruptly back up, positioning his vehicle crossways in their path, almost hitting the two men. Said Johnson, “We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike’s body and closed back on the officer.”
At that point, the officer, still in his car, grabbed Brown through the open window around the neck. Brown tried to pull away, but the officer continued to pull Brown toward him.
According to Johnson, Brown “did not reach for the officer’s weapon at all,” insisting that Brown was attempting to get free of the officer rather than attempting to attack him or take his weapon from him.
At that point, according to Johnson, the officer drew his weapon, and “he said, ‘I’ll shoot you’ or ‘I’m going to shoot,'” and almost instantaneously fired his weapon, hitting Brown.
Following the initial gunshot, Johnson said that Brown was able to free himself, at which point the two fled for their lives. The officer exited the vehicle, after which he fired a second shot, striking Brown in the back. At that point, according to Johnson, Brown turned around with his hands in the air and said, “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting!” The officer then shot Brown several more times, killing him.
In a news conference on August 10, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar stated, “The genesis of this [shooting incident] was a physical confrontation” during which Brown “physically assaulted the police officer.” According to Belmar, the officer attempted to exit his vehicle but was pushed back into the car by Brown, who then assaulted the officer inside the car. Brown then allegedly attempted to seize the officer’s gun, which was fired at least once during the struggle. Belmar acknowledged that “more than a couple” of shots were fired in the course of the encounter.
Johnson’s version is corroborated by other civilian witnesses.
There is no serious legal question that the shots fired after Brown raised his arms and surrendered were unnecessary and unlawful.
Even under the police version, Brown never had possession of the gun and all shots were fired by the officer.
In addition, jaywalking in most jurisdictions is a non-criminal violation punishable only by a fine. A police officer cannot arrest a person for a mere violation, if they sign a citation agreeing to pay the fine or come to court on the date and time indicated.
This shooting appears to have occurred when a white police officer lost his temper and pulled out his gun because he did not believe the two black males showed him the proper amount of respect.
That is racist and unprofessional.
The shooting was unjustifiable.