clock menu more-arrow no yes

Read the incident reports for the Michael Brown shooting. It won't take long.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson talks to reporters.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson talks to reporters.
Michael B. Thomas

The incident reports for the Michael Brown shooting contain no new information, with many potential answers about the shooting either redacted or left out completely.

The reports detail who was involved in the shooting and where it happened. Neither explains the lead-up to the event, how it played out, or why. They don't include officer Darren Wilson's side of the story.

A spokesperson for the St. Louis County Police Department told TIME that Wilson's version of the events is excluded because the investigation is ongoing, which allows the department to withhold some information.

In the the Ferguson Police Department's report, which was obtained Thursday by the ACLU of Missouri, the scant details that are included are also almost completely redacted.

The details may be missing from the Ferguson Police Department's report because the department quickly handed the the criminal investigation of the shooting to the St. Louis County Police Department. (The US Department of Justice is also conducting its own investigation into whether the shooting violated Brown's civil rights.)

Still, the ACLU criticized the Ferguson Police's lack of transparency. "It's been nearly two weeks and Ferguson is still hiding information regarding the fatal shooting of Michael Brown," said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri. "It is long past time for the Ferguson Police Department to begin building public trust and the first step is to release a complete copy of the incident report."

Read the St. Louis County Police's incident report (courtesy of TIME) and the Ferguson Police's incident report (courtesy of the ACLU of Missouri).

To learn more about the situation in Ferguson, read the full explainer, the full timeline, and watch the two-minute video below: