Michael Brown Shooting, What We Know.
Michael Brown, 18 years old, was shot on August 9, 2014 by Darren Wilson, 28, who was a Ferguson police offices at the time of the shooting. Shortly before the shooting took place, Brown robbed a convenience that was close by, where he took a $48.99 box of cigarillos.
Wilson, who was on duty at the time had been notified of the robbery by the police dispatch. When Wilson first made contact with Brown and Dorian Johnson, they were walking down the middle of the street, blocking traffic. This encounter was not related to the robbery, but after arguing with Brown and Johnson about them being in the middle of the road, Wilson said that he recognized the robbery suspects from the description given by dispatch.
This is where it all gets a little more complicated, because both the police and Dorian Johnson tell different versions of the shooting.
We will begin with what the police had to say about the event.
According to police it all started when Officer Wilson requested that Brown and Johnson move out of the street. The report stated that “The deceased became belligerent towards Offices Wilson.”
When Wilson tried to exit his patrol car, the deceased pushed his door back and began to struggle with the officer. During this struggle the officer’s weapon was un-holstered and discharged.
Police then say that Brown ran down the road and Officer Wilson began to pursue him on foot. “As he was giving chase to the deceased, the deceased turned around and ran towards Officer Wilson.” Wilson then fired “several times,” according to police reports. Both official and private autopsies showed that Brown was shot at least 6 times, but police have not said exactly how many shot were fired.
Dorian Johnson who was there with Michael Brown when all this took place has a different version of what happened.
Johnson says that when they first encountered Officer Wilson, he was using profanity to tell them to get out of the road. When Wilson stopped to get out of the car, he hit Brown with his squad car door and then grabbed Brown by the neck.
According to Johnson, the struggle between Brown and Wilson was mostly Brown trying to get away while Officer Wilson tried to pull him towards the car. During this struggle, Johnson says he heard Officer Wilson say “I’m going to shoot you.”
When the first shot fired injured Brown, Johnson says Brown ran away from the police officer and Wilson chased him. Wilson shot Brown again while he was running away, Brown stopped after being shot a second time, turned around with his hands up and said “I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!”
As Officer Wilson stood face to face with the suspect, he shot Brown several more times, Johnson says.
This event sparked a lot of civil unrest in Ferguson, this is because many believe that Brown was surrendering at the time he was fatally shot. Long standing tensions between the majority black population and the majority white police and government, pushed the unrest even further. Protests, both peaceful and violent broke out and continued for more than a week after the shooting. This resulted in night curfews and militarized tactics against protestors. After, peaceful protesting continued for several weeks.
The prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County, Missouri, brought the case in front of a grand jury in order to determine if there was any probable cause to indict Officer Wilson. On November 24 it was announced that the jury decided not to indict Wilson.
U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder, launched a federal investigation of Missouri’s police force to examine whether police officer regularly engage in racial profiling or if they regularly use excessive force.
On the 1st of December, President Obama announce that the federal government is going to spend $75 million on body cameras for police officers. This measure is in respond to the Michael Brown shooting.
This is not the first time that police have been believed to show blatant disregard for the safety and lives of citizens. Sadly we have seen how police all around the country, Including California tend to target people who are in lower socioeconomic conditions because they believe they will get away with it.
Over the past decade, The Law Offices of David S. Chesley has seen a rise in this type of events, where clients have been abused by police officers. Now the public is becoming more aware of what is happening around them and opening their eyes.
The Law Offices of David Chesley take pride in the fact that we help many low income families, and people who are normally not able to afford an attorney. Our services are offered on a sliding scale based on our client’s ability to pay.