Days Black People Not Re-Enslaved By Trump

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Those Other Witnesses in Ferguson

Yes, I've known about the other witnesses that made the news a few weeks ago. I resisted commenting on them because there was a lot of info to sort through (other witness stories), timelines for shots fired (with that audio), etc. Now I have a piece of info from the witness statements (not on the video) that is going to weigh heavily on the grand jury:
Wilson, gun drawn, also stopped about 10 feet in front of Brown, the worker said.

Then Brown moved, the worker said. “He’s kind of walking back toward the cop.” He said Brown’s hands were still up.

Wilson began backing up as he fired, the worker said.

After the third shot, Brown’s hands started going down, and he moved about 25 feet toward Wilson, who kept backing away and firing. The worker said he could not tell from where he watched — about 50 feet away — if Brown’s motion toward Wilson after the shots was “a stumble to the ground” or “OK, I’m going to get you, you’re already shooting me.”

I said in an earlier post that "hands up" does not meant "not a threat". Particularly if we're talking about a moving subject.

They key points here would be that officer Wilson was backing up while firing. This indicates that he considered Brown a threat to him, As I have said in many postings in regards to police shootings; is it near impossible to prove malice in their actions because police are given the assumed non-criminal intent in such situations (rightly or wrongly). However, this note by the witness, squares with the witness caught on the audio tape in which the witness says that Brown was "coming at him" as Wilson was "dumping on him".

Remember that the in the audio released by CNN shows a set of shots, a pause and then another set. This witness statement is supportive of that audio. Wilson shot until Brown stopped. Brown started moving again and Wilson shot at him again.

If the rest of the evidence presented to the grand jury is along these lines, I do not see how they can indict Wilson. The only way I see Wilson indicted (with this kind of evidence) is if it is done for political reasons.

[update]

Just wanted to address this point in the article:

Phillip Walker, 40, another Canfield Green resident, told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday that Brown was walking at a steady pace toward Wilson, with his hands up. “Not quickly,” Walker said. “He did not rush the officer.” Walker, who is distantly related to a Post-Dispatch reporter not involved in this report, said the last shot, into the top of Brown’s head, was from about 4 feet away.
Unless a police officer tells you to approach him, particularly if that officer already has his side arm out, you don't walk up on that officer. You stay put. The officer either approaches you or tells you to approach him. 4 feet is not a lot of distance. No officer is going to allow a suspect that he was shooting at, to walk up to 4 feet of him while unsecured. Doesn't happen. Officer will tell you to walk up to a patrol car, put your hands on the car, spread your legs, search your person and then cuff you.
He said the officer “didn’t say, ‘Get on the ground.’ He didn’t say anything. At first his gun was down and then he … got about 8 to 10 feet away from him … I heard six, seven shots … it seemed like seven. Then he put his gun down. That’s when Michael stumbled forward. I’d say about 25 feet or so and then fell right on his face.”
So which is it? Was Brown not walking towards Wilson? Was he walking towards Wilson and got within 4 feet or was he 25 feet away, got shot in the head and stumbled 25 feet towards Wilson? Some of these folks are either lying or did not recall the events correctly. Brown could not have been 4 feet away from Wilson, get shot in the head (instant put down) and then wander 25 feet away to drop to the ground. This is why you should be suspect of witness stories. Aside from self interest, witnesses are often wrong about important details.