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August 18, 2014

More Eyewitnesses Come Forward in Brown Shooting

They seem to agree (if I'm reading this right) that Officer Wilson's first shots were fired when Brown was running away; these would seem to have missed, or have been warning shots into the air, possibly, as the coroners found no rear-entry bullets.

They say he then turned around in order to say that he was unarmed, and this was when the subsequent shots were fired, which did hit Brown.

People have characterized this last move, moving towards Wilson, as "charging" him, but that seems unlikely to me.

The question seems to me then (assuming these accounts to be true, which some commenters say I should not assume) to be whether Wilson had good cause to fire initially (when Brown was moving away from him, or fleeing, and if this was legally "flight from a felony arrest"), and whether or not Brown's turn back to him could be, in the minds of a reasonable person, a threatening action.

It should be borne in mind that when Brown turned back to Wilson, Wilson probably wouldn't have known he was unarmed. When a man turns on you in this sort of situation, one generally presumes him -- sometimes wrongly -- to be doing so in preparation to attack.

One witness says she saw Wilson "grab" at Brown, but doesn't say she saw the chokehold. I wonder if Wilson was grabbing for the cigars (which the police chief said Wilson had spotted during the stop, and connected them to the recent robbery).


The Other Witness: Commenters point out the video discussed in this story, which notes that a video taken shortly after the shooting features someone off-camera saying that Brown "came back towards" Wilson.

Amid angry condemnations of the police and pledges to move away from the mean streets of Ferguson, one man describes what he saw as he witnessed the shooting. He seems to describe how the 6 foot, 4 inch, 300-pound Brown tussled with Police Officer Darren Wilson and charged him, an account that may corroborate Wilson's story and cast doubt on claims of other purported witnesses who say Wilson shot Brown as he ran away, his hands in the air.

"I mean, the police was in the truck [sic] and he was, like, over the truck," the man says. "So then he ran, police got out and ran after him.

“The next thing I know, he comes back towards them. The police had his guns drawn on him."

"Coming back towards" Wilson could have been Brown's attempt to show compliance/surrender towards Wilson -- which was then misinterpreted as a show of aggression.

Which, of course, would be truly tragic.

I'm just speculating here: I have no idea what happened there.


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posted by Ace at 07:09 PM

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