Michael Brown Case

N&P: Discuss governments, nations, politics and recent related news here.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, Edi, K. A. Pital

Post Reply
User avatar
Borgholio
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6297
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:31pm
Location: Southern California

Michael Brown Case

Post by Borgholio »

http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/11/us/missou ... index.html
(CNN) -- It's a case of he said, he said. The accounts of why a police officer fatally shot Michael Brown on a street in Ferguson, Missouri, this weekend couldn't be more disparate.

One side says the teenager was surrendering, his hands in the air to show he was unarmed, when the officer opened fire. Authorities counter that Brown attacked the officer in his car and tried to take his gun.

The St. Louis suburb of 21,000 was wracked by violence as protesters outraged over the 18-year-old's Saturday shooting faced off with police.

Although there were reports that some demonstrations were peaceful -- protesters held up their hands, as Brown reportedly did, and others demanded a fair inquiry, chanting, "No justice, no peace" -- there were also reports of fires, looting, vandalism and attacks on police officers.

The dispute between distraught Ferguson residents and police isn't likely to be settled soon, as several entities conduct investigations and the FBI reviews the matter.

One thing is sure, though: What police say was self-defense by the yet-to-be-named officer doesn't jibe with the accounts of those who say they saw the encounter.

Here's what CNN has learned:

Brown was spending the summer in the neighborhood with his grandmother Desuirea Harris, she told CNN affiliate KMOV. She described him as "a good kid."

Family members say he was a recent graduate of nearby Normandy High School and was going to begin classes at Vatterott College on Monday.

Brown and a friend were walking to Harris' house, his mother and grandmother said, when a Ferguson police officer confronted them.

This is where the stories part ways.

Dorian Johnson, 22, told KMOV that he and Brown were walking in the middle of the street when an officer pulled up and told them, "Get the f*** on the sidewalk." The young men replied that they were "not but a minute away from our destination, and we would shortly be out of the street," Johnson said.

The officer drove forward but stopped and backed up, almost hitting the pair, Johnson said.

"He tried to thrust his door open, but we were so close that it ricocheted off us and bounced back to him, and I guess that got him a little upset," Johnson told the station.

Still in his car, the officer then grabbed Brown by his neck, Johnson said. Brown tried to pull away, but the officer kept pulling Brown toward him, he said.

The officer drew his weapon, and "he said, 'I'll shoot you' or 'I'm going to shoot' " and almost instantaneously fired his weapon, hitting Brown, Johnson said.

Johnson and a bloodied Brown took off running, and Johnson hid behind the first car he saw, he said. The officer got out of his car.

"He pursued my friend. His weapon was drawn," he said. "He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around, he put his hands in the air, and he started to get down, but the officer still approached with his weapon drawn, and he fired several more shots, and my friend died," Johnson told KMOV.

"We wasn't committing any crime, bringing no harm to nobody, but my friend was murdered in cold blood," he said.

That Brown was unarmed is undisputed -- St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar said every casing found at the scene was from the officer's weapon -- but he said at a Sunday news conference that Brown was not an innocent victim.

"The genesis of this was a physical confrontation," Belmar said, adding that Ferguson police asked his office to investigate the case.

Without revealing what led to the dispute, Belmar said the preliminary investigation showed that the Ferguson officer tried to exit his vehicle, but Brown pushed him back into the car, "where he physically assaulted the police officer" and struggled over the officer's weapon, Belmar said.

A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said.

It's unclear how many times Brown was shot. Johnson said it was more than three, and Brown's mother said she was told he was shot eight times. Some witnesses said they heard as many as 10 shots. Belmar said only that it "was more than just a couple."

The chief didn't explain how Brown got so far away from the car or whether he was surrendering. He said he was declining to disclose certain details because he didn't want to "prejudice" the case.

The officer is on paid administrative leave. There's no word on when authorities will identify him, but Belmar said he has been with the force six years and is "unaware of any other issues that he's been involved in."

He will be required to undergo two psychological evaluations before returning to duty, the chief said.

Meanwhile, Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, didn't need to know his identity to direct some pointed words at the man who shot the son she knew as a "gentle giant."

"You're not God. You don't decide when you're going to take somebody from here," she told KSDK.

Teen was two days away from starting college
Now I don't know what to make about this. Ordinarily I take a skeptical view of official police statements regarding the justification of shooting civilians, but the two sides of the story are so far apart here and so extreme that I'm at a loss. One side of the story says the cop was attacked and the kid tried to take his gun (shooting might be justified in this case). The other side says the cop got out of his car and chased after the kid, shooting him 8 times while he stood there with his arms in the air. That is unbelievably criminal and I find it hard to accept that a cop would do that unless he is the most hateful and racist son of a bitch on the force.

Meanwhile, the community protests (understandable), and elements of it begin to riot, loot, and burn down buildings (why am I not surprised?), thus making the community look bad. Overall, one giant cluster fuck. I really hope we get to the bottom of this, but like I said, I don't know which side is more credible at this point.
You will be assimilated...bunghole!
Grumman
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2488
Joined: 2011-12-10 09:13am

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Grumman »

Borgholio wrote:The other side says the cop got out of his car and chased after the kid, shooting him 8 times while he stood there with his arms in the air. That is unbelievably criminal and I find it hard to accept that a cop would do that unless he is the most hateful and racist son of a bitch on the force.
And if he was the most hateful and racist son of a bitch on the force, Johnson would not be alive to make the accusation.
Block
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2333
Joined: 2007-08-06 02:36pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Block »

The rioting and looting is despicable. I have no comment on the shooting other than to say that this is why there needs to be a Federal mandate about dash cams and body cams. If infantry can wear them, so can cops. Make tampering a Federal crime too.
Patroklos
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2575
Joined: 2009-04-14 11:00am

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Patroklos »

"not but a minute away from our destination, and we would shortly be out of the street,"
Who talks like that?

Anyway there should be plenty of physical evidence on the police car if there was a struggle there. Brown's finger prints and hair inside the car, his blood, residue from gun fire, the location of the spent casings.

If anything can be linked to close proximity to the car Johnson's story becomes BS. Likewise for the cop if they can't. I am guessing there isn't a car camera? That would verify the beginning of Johnson's story.
User avatar
Welf
Padawan Learner
Posts: 417
Joined: 2012-10-03 11:21am

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Welf »

I note that the story of Johnson is consistent and the story of the police (as depicted in the article) has a gap. The police claims that the first shot was at the car - both agree on that - but doesn't give a reason why Brown was 35 feet away when the final shots were fired. Did brown run away? And if so, why did the officer shot him if the situation isn't dangerous anymore? Also it mentioned no criminal record for Brown. Is it believable that a 18 year old would suddenly attack an officer while on the way to his family?
Block
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2333
Joined: 2007-08-06 02:36pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Block »

Oh there's plenty of gaps in both sides. Apparently the cop managed to one handedly choke a 6'4" dude through his window for example. I'm waiting to see the FBI report.
Channel72
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2068
Joined: 2010-02-03 05:28pm
Location: New York

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Channel72 »

This doesn't look good for the cop. The fact that the victim was shot 35 feet from the car seems pretty damning. Even if Michael Brown was belligerent and assaulted the cop or something, he was unarmed and so shooting him multiple times from a distance is murder.
Patroklos
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2575
Joined: 2009-04-14 11:00am

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Patroklos »

I don't see a problem with a shot person stumbling 35 feet away before collapsing. But again I would expect plenty of blood on the car are very nearby.

It really doesn't matter how far away the body is if and sign of shooting is at the car because Johnson is very specific about that happened including dialogue, far more than the police story is. Even if the evidence makes it look like he was hit running away that's not enough to corroborate Johnson's story. The only eye witness being caught blatantly lying is going to make prosecution impossible.

I predict one side gets caught red handed lying here and egregiously so.
Last edited by Patroklos on 2014-08-12 06:21pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Gaidin
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2646
Joined: 2004-06-19 12:27am
Contact:

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Gaidin »

Is there any reason the police shouldn't interview the witness?
User avatar
General Zod
Never Shuts Up
Posts: 29205
Joined: 2003-11-18 03:08pm
Location: The Clearance Rack
Contact:

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by General Zod »

You know this is a good reason the police really need to start recording all of their interactions with the public.
"It's you Americans. There's something about nipples you hate. If this were Germany, we'd be romping around naked on the stage here."

Image

ImageImage
Channel72
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2068
Joined: 2010-02-03 05:28pm
Location: New York

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Channel72 »

Patroklos wrote:I don't see a problem with a shot person stumbling 35 feet away before collapsing. But again I would expect plenty of blood on the car are very nearby.
The way I'm understanding the article, the preliminary investigation revealed that Brown was shot inside the car, and then shot again (an unknown number of times) 35 feet away from the car. So, I think it's safe to assume Brown didn't walk 35 feet and collapse after being shot.
User avatar
General Zod
Never Shuts Up
Posts: 29205
Joined: 2003-11-18 03:08pm
Location: The Clearance Rack
Contact:

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by General Zod »

Channel72 wrote:
Patroklos wrote:I don't see a problem with a shot person stumbling 35 feet away before collapsing. But again I would expect plenty of blood on the car are very nearby.
The way I'm understanding the article, the preliminary investigation revealed that Brown was shot inside the car, and then shot again (an unknown number of times) 35 feet away from the car. So, I think it's safe to assume Brown didn't walk 35 feet and collapse after being shot.
Depends on where he was shot. If it just winged him or grazed him I could see him going 35 feet.
"It's you Americans. There's something about nipples you hate. If this were Germany, we'd be romping around naked on the stage here."

Image

ImageImage
Block
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2333
Joined: 2007-08-06 02:36pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Block »

General Zod wrote:
Channel72 wrote:
Patroklos wrote:I don't see a problem with a shot person stumbling 35 feet away before collapsing. But again I would expect plenty of blood on the car are very nearby.
The way I'm understanding the article, the preliminary investigation revealed that Brown was shot inside the car, and then shot again (an unknown number of times) 35 feet away from the car. So, I think it's safe to assume Brown didn't walk 35 feet and collapse after being shot.
Depends on where he was shot. If it just winged him or grazed him I could see him going 35 feet.
Hell if it hit a major artery he could stagger 35 feet. Like I said, I want to see what the FBI says before any judgement one way or the other on my part.
Channel72
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2068
Joined: 2010-02-03 05:28pm
Location: New York

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Channel72 »

No, you misunderstand. I'm not saying it's physiologically infeasible to walk 35 feet after being shot. I'm saying, the way the article is worded, it appears to me that everyone (including the police) agree that:
  • (1) Brown was shot in the car (or at least a gun went off in the car)
    (2) Brown was shot again 35 feet from the car
According to the police preliminary investigation:
Without revealing what led to the dispute, Belmar said the preliminary investigation showed that the Ferguson officer tried to exit his vehicle, but Brown pushed him back into the car, "where he physically assaulted the police officer" and struggled over the officer's weapon, Belmar said.

A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said.
This part agrees with Johnson's story to the extent that both say Brown was shot inside the car, and then shot again 35 feet from the car. It doesn't matter if Brown staggered 35 feet after being shot or whatever, the point is it seems he definitely was shot from a distance (regardless of what initially happened in the car) - which to me seems pretty damning for the cop.
User avatar
General Zod
Never Shuts Up
Posts: 29205
Joined: 2003-11-18 03:08pm
Location: The Clearance Rack
Contact:

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by General Zod »

Channel72 wrote:No, you misunderstand. I'm not saying it's physiologically infeasible to walk 35 feet after being shot. I'm saying, the way the article is worded, it appears to me that everyone (including the police) agree that:
  • (1) Brown was shot in the car (or at least a gun went off in the car)
    (2) Brown was shot again 35 feet from the car
According to the police preliminary investigation:
Without revealing what led to the dispute, Belmar said the preliminary investigation showed that the Ferguson officer tried to exit his vehicle, but Brown pushed him back into the car, "where he physically assaulted the police officer" and struggled over the officer's weapon, Belmar said.

A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said.
This part agrees with Johnson's story to the extent that both say Brown was shot inside the car, and then shot again 35 feet from the car. It doesn't matter if Brown staggered 35 feet after being shot or whatever, the point is it seems he definitely was shot from a distance - which to me seems pretty damning for the cop.
Reading the article more closely it looks like the only thing they're saying is that a gun was fired inside the car. They're not saying he was shot inside the car. (Ballistics reports should be able to verify this.)
"It's you Americans. There's something about nipples you hate. If this were Germany, we'd be romping around naked on the stage here."

Image

ImageImage
User avatar
Civil War Man
NERRRRRDS!!!
Posts: 3789
Joined: 2005-01-28 03:54am

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Civil War Man »

General Zod wrote:Reading the article more closely it looks like the only thing they're saying is that a gun was fired inside the car. They're not saying he was shot inside the car. (Ballistics reports should be able to verify this.)
Yeah, the common thread between the two stories was that the first shot came while Brown was either in or near the car, while all subsequent shots came while Brown was further away from the car.

But still, even if we say for the sake of argument that the officer's version is what really happened, it means that he continued to use lethal force after the threat had ended. Rather than attempting to apprehend Brown so he could be charged with assaulting a police officer, he chose to gun him down. At least the officer who shot the panhandler in the back in that other thread is claiming that the use of lethal force was accidental. This one decided to shoot to kill even after Brown chose to flee. If Brown attacked him, it only really justifies any shots that were taken before the attack stopped. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the officer.
User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Thanas »

Were I attempting to argue for him I'd try to argue that he might have been aiming for the legs to slow him down, but I am not sure that use of force is justified in such a case.

I mean, the alternative version is that the two attempted to box the officer in his car and contain him there by slamming the door shut, to which he then attempted to retaliate. He might then have panicked and exceeded justifiable force. This is I think the only realistic version which is friendly to the cop but it still does not paint a pretty picture.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs
User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 27424
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Broomstick »

Aiming at the limbs to slow someone down is a Hollywood technique, so far as I know it's not policy in any police department I'm aware of. When my uncles were on the St. Louis police force they were taught to aim for the torso so they would be more likely to hit their target. If you draw your gun you're intending to kill someone not merely "slow him down". That's why it's called lethal force. Particularly these days when most officers have options like tasers or pepper spray (my uncles only had clubs as an alternative).
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice
User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Thanas »

Broomstick wrote:Aiming at the limbs to slow someone down is a Hollywood technique, so far as I know it's not policy in any police department I'm aware of.
Germany uses the "hollywood technique" to good effect, as demonstrated in previous discussions. I'll thank you to not describe a legitimate and working tactic as Hollywood.
When my uncles were on the St. Louis police force they were taught to aim for the torso so they would be more likely to hit their target. If you draw your gun you're intending to kill someone not merely "slow him down". That's why it's called lethal force. Particularly these days when most officers have options like tasers or pepper spray (my uncles only had clubs as an alternative).
See above.

It may very well be that the department has no such policies but like I said, it is the most charitable explanation to the officer.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs
User avatar
General Zod
Never Shuts Up
Posts: 29205
Joined: 2003-11-18 03:08pm
Location: The Clearance Rack
Contact:

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by General Zod »

Hitting a moving target is hard enough and our typical police officer isn't a trained marksman. The incident out in front of the Empire State Building where they tried to shoot a suspect and wound up striking a bunch of bystanders is good proof of that.
"It's you Americans. There's something about nipples you hate. If this were Germany, we'd be romping around naked on the stage here."

Image

ImageImage
Patroklos
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2575
Joined: 2009-04-14 11:00am

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Patroklos »

Civil War Man wrote:
General Zod wrote:Reading the article more closely it looks like the only thing they're saying is that a gun was fired inside the car. They're not saying he was shot inside the car. (Ballistics reports should be able to verify this.)
Yeah, the common thread between the two stories was that the first shot came while Brown was either in or near the car, while all subsequent shots came while Brown was further away from the car.

But still, even if we say for the sake of argument that the officer's version is what really happened, it means that he continued to use lethal force after the threat had ended. Rather than attempting to apprehend Brown so he could be charged with assaulting a police officer, he chose to gun him down. At least the officer who shot the panhandler in the back in that other thread is claiming that the use of lethal force was accidental. This one decided to shoot to kill even after Brown chose to flee. If Brown attacked him, it only really justifies any shots that were taken before the attack stopped. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on the officer.
Nothing says he was shot from 35 feet away, just that he was 35 feet away from the car. Johnson specifically says Brown was chased down. If the officer tried to apprehend him again and another close quarters struggle takes place, this time with a drawn gun and shots already fired, it leads to an interesting situation.

I had to read the article again too. I am also curious as to how many shots were actually fired, I am guessing it was the coroner who said eight to the mother?
User avatar
Thanas
Magister
Magister
Posts: 30779
Joined: 2004-06-26 07:49pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Thanas »

FFS, I am not trying to start yet another discussion of what is superior or not. I am not arguing that it is a great tactic or that the guy was not shooting to kill.

What I am trying to say is that this is the only explanation that is charitable to the officer I can think of assuming the guy was 30 or so feet away when he was shot.
Nothing says he was shot from 35 feet away, just that he was 35 feet away from the car. Johnson specifically says Brown was chased down. If the officer tried to apprehend him again and another close quarters struggle takes place, this time with a drawn gun and shots already fired, it leads to an interesting situation.
True. I think only the coroner's report or the FBI can state with authority how far away he was when he was shot. Until they arrive we are all just speculating.
Whoever says "education does not matter" can try ignorance
------------
A decision must be made in the life of every nation at the very moment when the grasp of the enemy is at its throat. Then, it seems that the only way to survive is to use the means of the enemy, to rest survival upon what is expedient, to look the other way. Well, the answer to that is 'survival as what'? A country isn't a rock. It's not an extension of one's self. It's what it stands for. It's what it stands for when standing for something is the most difficult! - Chief Judge Haywood
------------
My LPs
Simon_Jester
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 30164
Joined: 2009-05-23 07:29pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Simon_Jester »

The riots tend to suggest that the actual community Brown lived in finds Johnson's version of events a lot more believable than the policeman's version.

So one really has to ask oneself: what the hell has been going on with policing in that community such that they would find it likely that the police would do such a horrible, senseless, murderous thing as Dorian Johnson says they did?

[This is a semi-rhetorical question; I already have my suspicions]
Block wrote:Oh there's plenty of gaps in both sides. Apparently the cop managed to one handedly choke a 6'4" dude through his window for example. I'm waiting to see the FBI report.
The element of surprise is a pretty powerful thing when it comes to sudden physical onslaughts, especially when you have on your side the advantage of a community that knows that if you so much as twitch the police may charge you with resisting arrest.
This space dedicated to Vasily Arkhipov
Block
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2333
Joined: 2007-08-06 02:36pm

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by Block »

You're missing what I'm saying Simon. It's almost impossible to reach someone that tall's neck from a sitting position. The officer would have to have extremely long arms, or be in a lifted police car.
User avatar
LaCroix
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4879
Joined: 2004-12-21 12:14pm
Location: Sopron District, Hungary, Europe, Terra

Re: Surprised nobody is talking about the riots in St Louis.

Post by LaCroix »

Block wrote:You're missing what I'm saying Simon. It's almost impossible to reach someone that tall's neck from a sitting position. The officer would have to have extremely long arms, or be in a lifted police car.
According to the witness, the officer slammed the car door into the two hard enough to bounce back, and then he grabbed him by the neck. I don't know about you, but when I get hit by a car door, I do tend to double over. It would be pretty easy to grab me, then. No need for a lifted car.
A minute's thought suggests that the very idea of this is stupid. A more detailed examination raises the possibility that it might be an answer to the question "how could the Germans win the war after the US gets involved?" - Captain Seafort, in a thread proposing a 1942 'D-Day' in Quiberon Bay

I do archery skeet. With a Trebuchet.
Post Reply