BLOOD ON THE GUN: Michael Brown Was First Shot Inside Darren Wilson’s Police SUV
According to the New York Times, the FBI’s investigation into the shooting of Ferguson, Missouri strong-arm robbery suspect Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson has concluded that there will not be a federal civil rights case. The standard for filing charges in such a case is evidence showing that Wilson willfully violated Brown’s civil rights, and no such evidence exists.
The FBI investigation also revealed forensic evidence that suggests the battle in Wilson’s police vehicle was even more fierce than previously known:
The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two months ago has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mr. Brown, according to government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter.
The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.
The forensics tests showed Mr. Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilson’s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.
While the story does not show any conclusive new evidence about what transpired after Brown ran and Wilson was able to exit his police SUV, the forensic evidence does most closely match to Officer Wilson’s version of events of what happened at the beginning of the incident inside the vehicle.
The same forensic evidence also seem to cast doubts on the credibility of the perceptions of eyewitnesses Piaget Crenshaw (she thought Brown was trying to flee), Tiffany Mitchell (who claims Wilson appeared to be trying to pull the NFL-lineman sized Brown through the SUV window), and Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson, who claimed that Wilson was the aggressor (at the time of the August 9 shooting, Johnson had a warrant out for lying to police in a earlier incident).
Another witness that spoke to a St. Louis newspaper earlier in the week said that Johnson sprinted down the road and fled the scene the moment shots were fired in Wilson’s SUV, suggesting that Johnson may have simply made up the story that greatly contributed to the on-again, off-again protests and rioting in Ferguson and the wider St. Louis area since August.
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Eyewitness accounts still widely vary on what happened after Brown fled the SUV after being shot in the arm and a battered Wilson left the vehicle in an attempt to arrest him.
While we do know that witnesses who claim Brown was shot in the back are wrong—forensics show that all six shots that hit Brown (one in the SUV, five in the street) were fired as Brown faced Wilson—there are contradicting accounts on whether Brown’s hands were up or out, and whether or not Brown had stopped and was listening to Wilson’s commands to surrender as some claim, or if he had turned and was advancing on Wilson despite orders to stop as other witnesses have claimed.
At this point, it appears that the publicly known forensic evidence at this point does not contradict Officer Wilson’s version of events.
Equally and every bit as importantly, the known forensic evidence—autopsy results, blood spatter inside and outside the vehicle, shelling casings, etc—can be read to support almost every eyewitness account to one degree or another (except for Dorian Johnson’s), even though the accounts contradict one another.
In such a situation, where the physical evidence seems to support the officer’s version of events and also corroborate on key facts (if not the interpretation of the facts) of other witnesses, then the law must come down on the side of the evidence and the officer.
There does not appear to be enough credible evidence to suggest that police officer Darren Wilson committed a crime when he shot strong-arm robbery and felony assault suspect Michael Brown.
It seems highly unlikely that a grand jury has enough evidence to justify indicting Darren Wilson, and even less likely that there is enough evidence to secure a conviction if he is indicted.
I would suggest being prepared for the outrage that is almost certainly going to come from those who have invested so much in recent months in created the mythology of an innocent martyr shot down for no reason.
Religious movements died hard, and the cult of St. Michael Brown will no go quietly.
It probably shouldn’t be a surprise at all that some agitators are calling for not just “revenge,” but Palestinian-style terrorism.