Fox News is reporting that police officer Darren Wilson was severely beaten by Michael Brown during the confrontation that ended with Brown’s death:

Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries, including an orbital (eye socket) fracture, and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told FoxNews.com.

“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”…

The source also said the dashboard and body cameras, which might have recorded crucial evidence, had been ordered by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, but had only recently arrived and had not yet been deployed.

Too bad about those cameras; what poor timing.

The article also says that St. Louis County police, now in charge of the investigation, have refused to confirm or deny the story. They say they will present all the evidence to a grand jury when the time comes.

Further indicating the story may be true is the fact that even the liberal NY Times reported today that Wilson was injured during the altercation. Allahpundit notes at Hot Air that, although the Times buried the news in the 21st paragraph of its article, it was the first report in a major paper that Wilson was injured at the hands of Brown. Now Fox News has climbed aboard, with more details.

In addition, yesterday blogger Jim Hoft had reported at Gateway Pundit that police sources had informed him that Wilson suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket” as a result of his encounter with Brown.

Add to that the fact that a week ago Police Chief Thomas Jackson said at a news conference that the then-unidentified officer had been “treated at a hospital for swelling on the side of his face.” For some reason this news didn’t seem to get much traction; perhaps because it sounded like a more minor injury than an orbital blowout fracture.

The evidence mounts that Officer Wilson sustained very serious injuries during his confrontation with Brown, and that this could have justified his use of deadly force, in addition to answering those critics who wondered why six shots might have been necessary to bring Brown down.

[Neo-neocon is a writer with degrees in law and family therapy, who blogs at neo-neocon.]