CURATED BY German Lopez
2014-10-22 14:28:44 -0400
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The details of the shooting are in dispute: eyewitnesses say Brown was killed while trying to surrender, but police say Brown assaulted Wilson prior to the shooting. Police also said Brown was a suspect in a robbery earlier that day, but they later clarified that Wilson initially stopped Brown for jaywalking, not the alleged robbery.
1) Wilson shot and killed Brown in the early afternoon of Saturday, August 9, outside of an apartment complex.
2) Wilson stopped Brown because he was jaywalking, not because Wilson believed him a robbery suspect.
3) Brown was unarmed. All the shell casings found on scene were from Wilson's gun.
4) At least one round was fired from inside Wilson's squad car. Brown died about 35 feet from the car.
5) An independent, preliminary autopsy found Wilson shot Brown at least six times from the front, and two of the bullets struck Brown on the head. None of the shots were fired at close range, according to the report. "This one here looks like his head was bent downward," Dr. Michael Baden, who conducted the autopsy on behalf of Brown's family, told the New York Times. "It can be because he's giving up, or because he's charging forward at the officer."
6) An analysis of the official autopsy suggested Brown's hand was shot at close range, which could indicate, according to two independent forensic experts, that Brown was reaching for Wilson's gun. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the autopsy "supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound." (A microscopic analysis of the wound found foreign matter "consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm," according to the report.) Melinek also said the autopsy did not support eyewitness reports that Brown was shot while running away from Wilson or with his hands up, due to the apparent trajectory of the bullets.
7) Wilson has been on the police force for six years, and he has no disciplinary action on his record. He has been put on paid administrative leave following the shooting.
The accounts of eyewitnesses and police differ. Here is what some of the eyewitnesses at the scene of the shooting said happened, as well as Wilson's reported account.
Dorian Johnson's account
This is what Johnson, a friend of Brown's who was with him when he died, said happened: He and Brown were walking in the middle of the street when Wilson intercepted them and told them to get on the sidewalk. When Wilson tried to get out of his car, the door hit Johnson and Brown and ricocheted into Wilson — upsetting the officer. Wilson grabbed Brown by the neck, and Brown tried to get away. Wilson pulled out his gun and shot Brown. At that point, Brown and Johnson began to run away and the officer fired again. When Brown realized he was hit, he turned around and raised his hands in the air. Wilson approached Brown and fired several more shots.
Tiffany Mitchell's account
This is what Mitchell, who saw the shooting while on her way to pick up an employee in the area of the shooting, said happened: She first saw a struggle between Brown and Wilson, with Brown trying to push away from the police car and Wilson trying to pull the teenager into the vehicle. The first gunshot then came from the car, while both of Brown's hands were outside the vehicle. At that point, Brown broke away and started running down the street. Wilson chased after Brown while shooting at the teenager. Brown's body jerked, as if he was hit, and he turned around, stood still, and put his hands up. Wilson continued shooting Brown even as the teenager attempted to surrender, and Brown went down.
Piaget Crenshaw's account
This is what Crenshaw, who saw the shooting while she was waiting for a ride to work, said happened: She saw Wilson try to pull Brown into the squad car. When Brown ran away with his back facing the officer, Wilson fired several shots. Brown then turned around and began putting his hands up, and Wilson fired more shots and Brown collapsed. Crenshaw recorded video after Brown was killed, which she turned over to police.
Anonymous local resident's account
This is what an anonymous local resident, who reportedly saw the shooting from start to finish, said happened: Wilson and Brown appeared to tussle at the officer's police SUV. A shot went off, and Brown ran, followed by Wilson. Wilson aimed his handgun while yelling, "Stop! Stop! Stop!" Brown stopped, mumbled something inaudible, and took a step toward Wilson. The officer again told Brown to stop, and he fired three shots. Brown then put his hands up, staggered, and Wilson fired more shots as Brown fell to the floor.
Darren Wilson's account
This is what Wilson said happened, according to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and a New York Times interview with unnamed government officials briefed on the federal investigation: Brown physically assaulted Wilson prior to the shooting. Wilson attempted to get out of the car, but Brown pushed him back into the vehicle. Brown then physically assaulted Wilson and attempted to grab the officer's weapon. Two gun shots were fired in the car — one missed, while the other hit Brown's arm. Brown then ran away, and Wilson fired more gunshots and eventually killed Brown about 35 feet from the police car. Wilson was reportedly injured during the encounter, and one side of his face was left swollen.
Did Brown's alleged robbery influence Wilson's actions?
Ferguson Police claim Brown and Johnson stole some cigars in a convenience store robbery prior to the shooting. Police clarified, however, that Wilson wasn't aware of the robbery allegations at the time of the initial stop and instead stopped Brown for jaywalking. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Wilson realized Brown could be the suspect of the robbery when he spotted potentially stolen cigars in Brown's hand in the middle of the stop.
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