A black witness who claims to have seen the killing of Mike Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson “from start to finish” and who also purports to have just completed testifying in front of the Grand Jury, has subsequently been interviewed by the local St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper (on condition of anonymity).

Key facets of his testimony to the grand jury, as he recounts it, include:

  • Officer Wilson did not fire while Brown was moving away form him, but only when Brown turned back towards him.
  • Brown motioned with his arms out to his sides, but never raised them high.
  • Brown continued to advance on Wilson despite repeated orders to stop.
  • When Wilson fired his last rounds Brown was only ~20 feet away (those of you familiar with the Tueller drill understand the tactical implications of that distance, although this witness almost certainly did not).
  • Brown’s friend and criminal cohort Dorian Johnson took off running when the first round was fired inside Wilson’s police vehicle (thus casting further doubt on his testimony of later events, as if further doubt was needed).
  • He saw a struggle inside the patrol car, and saw Wilson’s hat fly off.
  • A shot was heard, at which point Brown ran, followed by Wilson (thus measurements of Brown’s body from Wilson’s vehicle are not likely representative of the distance between the men when Wilson fired).
  • Wilson, gun drawn, shouted repeatedly at Brown to stop his flight.
  • Brown stopped, mumbled something inaudible, and began advancing on Wilson, despite Wilson having his gun in hand.
  • Wilson again ordered Brown to stop, and fired three shots.
  • Brown staggered, apparently from being struck by one or more rounds, then continued to advance on Wilson.
  • Wilson fired four more rounds, the last of which discharged as Brown was falling.

Remarkably, after having provided this testimony, the witness is quoted in the interview as saying “He was already on his way down when he fired those last shots. What transpired to us, in my eyesight, was murder. Down outright murder.”

It is noteworthy that the Grand Jury also heard four hours of testimony from Officer Wilson personally, back on September 9.

Recently the Grand Jury elected to delay a decision on indictment of Wilson for an additional 60 days, beyond the fourth-month period normally provided.

Further, the prosecutor presenting the case to the Grand Jury has essentially simply handed them all available evidence for their perusal, and is making little or no effort to communicate the type of narrative of guilt that generally makes an indictment a foregone conclusion.

[Update (10/17/14): That last paragraph apparently created some confusion. This kind of lackadaisical effort by a prosecutor typically suggests an indictment is unlikely.]

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

[Note: Featured Image changed after publication]


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Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.