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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Part 3): Dorian Johnson Speaks

This is a series of posts where I plan to go through all 4799 pages of transcripts and other materials before the Grand Jury in the Darren Wilson case, in order to figure out 1) should he have been indicted, and 2) is he guilty.  Some background.  This is the post introducing the series and giving you many images that have been released.  This earlier piece on Zimmerman also gives you a good primer on the law of self-defense in general, at least in Florida, while this piece discusses how Missouri law deals with self-defense and the unique right of a cop to use force to stop a fleeing suspect (in some cases), and this piece discusses (albeit briefly) the standard for indictment.  I am not going to explain these points of  law twice, so if you are confused, go back and read those.

This post will be updated to link to other posts in the series without notation that it has been changed.

In Part 1, we reviewed to opening remarks by the Prosecuting Attorney, Bob McColloch, and introducing the two attorneys who would be running the show for the most part from then on: Kathi Alizadeh and Shelia Whirley.  We reviewed two witnesses who gathered evidence for others, but didn’t actually analyze it.

In Part 2, we had another detective who merely gathered evidence for others...  at least as far as he testified that day.  That was interrupted by a medical examiner who testified about the autopsy.

Before I dive back into the transcript, I will share more documents I have found digging around on the internet, this time via the New York Times.  And while you can read them yourself via that page, I will embed them myself, here.  Here are the files:

Now, I am not going to go through all of these documents just yet.  But I will take a moment to look over the private autopsy report.  I would also prefer to have the creator’s testimony, but I have no idea where it might be buried in the transcripts, or if they are there at all.  But let’s see if anything leaps out at us in that autopsy report.  Here it is embedded for your convenience:

I note that it claims he weighs “approximately 285 pounds.”  I am not sure why they would be less-than specific, here.  But then again, this guy is getting the body late after the last autopsy report, so maybe that creates a lack of confidence in his data.

The report is much more narrative than the last report, and more analytical, probably owing to personal preferences and little more.

On page 2, it states that “[t]here are seven bullet tracks in the body and an additional track in the right upper chest that is most consistent with being a re-entrance bullet wound continuation of the facial wound.”  I don’t believe I mentioned it, but the last examiner mentioned the possibility of wounds being reentry wounds, but said there was no way to know for sure.  And when I say “mentioned the possibility” he just said in general this is possible, not in relation to any specific wound.  He seemed to feel that it was so impossible to guess, that it wasn’t worth the time.

That view has some merit, but common sense says that combined with detective work, you can get some idea.  For instance, imagine that a person shot a person from their left, and all of it was captured on full video.  So you know the person fired, shot, but you find an entry wound in the outer upper arm, and exit wound near the armpit, and an entrance wound near the armpit on the chest?  I think in that case you would have to figure that the chest wound is a reentry wound.  But perhaps he felt that sort of analysis was left to detectives who will try to account for every bullet fired.

It goes on with more detail about the thumb wound, and tying it to an exit wound:

The first wound was in the right hand and occurred at the patrol car as confirmed by skin tissue found on the car. It was the only close wound. The bullet entered the palm of the right hand at the base of the thumb and proceeded tangentially through skin and soft tissues for a distance of two inches exiting near to the wrist.

Also he claims that there was a bullet from the back of the arm:

An entrance perforation through the back of the right forearm about seven inches from the elbow that proceeds horizontally through the ulna bone and exits through the front of the forearm;

I remember very specifically reading an opposite trajectory in the last autopsy.  This is where I worry about getting ahead of ourselves.  I wonder if the Grand Jury confronted either person with their apparent contradictions.

He also claims a second wound through the upper arm lacks sufficient evidence to determine if it was an entrance or exit wound.

Except for the re-entry theory mentioned above, he agrees that the wounds in the head and chest were from Brown being bent forward:

Given Mr. Brown's height, his head had to be bent downward with his face near parallel to the ground and the top of his head facing the shooter when the gun was discharged to produce the head and face tracks. In that bent over position the three bullets would have had to have travelled approximately parallel to the ground to produce the head, forehead and chest perforations only inches apart and then continue in similar trajectories downward and to the right. The exit perforation of the facial wound at the right lower jaw then lines up with the re-entrance wound through the clavicle.

And he agrees that the wound on the top of the head would’ve been instantly fatal and debilitating.

He mentions that there is evidence of recent marijuana use.  I wonder, how recent is “recent?”

So we have two experts disagreeing on one gunshot wound saying it is from the back when the other says it is from the front.  And he said another was indeterminate.  But they both agree a wound to the hand suggesting he was shot in the hand while in the patrol car.  Recent reports have attacked one of his assistants, Shawn Purcell, as a “fraud.”  The funny thing is that Gateway Pundit raised similar concerns about the man back in August, and Wonkette attacked him for saying this by calling him “The Stupidest Man on the Internet.”  I am sure they are working on a piece attacking CNN as we speak.  For what it is worth, The Pathology Blog wrote a piece answering these concerns, here.

(And the fact that “The Pathology Blog” is an actual thing is one of the things I love about the internet.  Without endorsing [or decrying] that specific blog, I love how subject matter experts are able to go on the internet and give you their views, unfiltered.)

The problem with all of this, is I am not sure how much Parcells wound have an influence, here.  Dr. Michael Baden is the lead pathologist, a man of impeccable credentials.  So assuming Parcells is unqualified, did he have an opportunity to screw this up?  I will note that this press conference by the Dr. Baden indicates that Mr. Purcell has been “instrumental” in doing the autopsy, which is troubling if he lacks appropriate qualifications.

Still, at the point, there is no way for me to determine who is right, so I will consider it a wash on the points they disagree on.  But where they agree, I feel confident they are right.

I am tempted to dig into all those witness interviews, but I am going to hold back for now, because I wonder if the transcript might tell me a little more about them.

So back to the main transcript, and once again, I will start by embedding the transcript I am reviewing:

I am presently at page 240 of that pdf, and Volume 4 of the transcripts overall.

First business of the day was to watch video clips of Dorian Johnson discussing the events of that day, and you don’t get to actually see them transcribed.  I’m not sure how feasible it is to track down these clips, but let’s give it a try on Google, shall we?

The first clip they listed was described as being from KTVI, from August 9, 2014.  Googling around, it appears to be this clip, though some guesswork is going into that.  It is Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend, and all he says is that Wilson told him to get off the road, and they said they were almost there.  He claims that Wilson was using course language, but there is literally not a single word about the use of force.  Bluntly, this is shoddy reporting.

The second is from Cnn on August 12.  I couldn’t find that recording, but I did find what appears to be the correct transcript:

DORIAN JOHSNON, MICHAEL BROWN'S FRIEND: Me and my friend was walking down the street, in the middle of the street, and we wasn't causing any harm to nobody. We had no weapons on us at all. We're just walking, having a conversation. No cars were blowing at us or honking at us like we were holding up traffic or anything like that.

Now, a police officer squad car pulled up, and when he pulled up, these were his exact words: "Get the eff on the sidewalk." And we told the officer we was not but a minute away from our destination and we would shortly be off the street, we was having a conversation.

He went about his way for about one or two seconds, as we continued to walk, and then he reversed his truck, his car, and in a manner to where it almost hit us, and it blocked both lanes off, the way he turned his car. So he pulled up on side of us, he tried to thrust his door open, but we were so close to it that it ricocheted off of us and bounced back to him. And I guess that got him a little upset.

And at that time, he reached out the window -- he didn't get out the car, he just reached his arm out the window and grabbed my friend around his neck and was trying to -- as he was trying to choke my friend, and he was trying to get away. And the officer then reached out and grabbed his arm to pull him into the car, so now it was like the officer is pulling him inside the car and he's trying to pull away.

And at no time the officer said that he was going to do anything until he pulled out his weapon, his weapon was drawn and said, "I'll shoot you," or "I'm going to shoot," and in the same moment, the first shot went off. And we looked at him, he was shot and there was blood coming from him.

And we took off running. And as we took off running, I ducked and hid for my life because I was afraid for my life, and I hid by the first car that I saw. My friend, he kept running and he told me to keep running because he feared for me, too. So as he was running, the officer was trying to get out of the car, and once he got out of the car, he pursued my friend, but his weapon was drawn.

Now, he didn't see any weapon drawn at him or anything like that, us going for no weapon. His weapon was already drawn when he got out of the car. He shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and 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.

The third is also from August 12, and it is on MSNBC with (ugh) Al Sharpton interviewing him.  He tells an “expanded” version of the initial stop where Wilson is telling them now twice to get off the road, then he almost hits him with his car.  He also claimed that Wilson actually put his hand around Brown’s throat from inside the car.  Which is not backed up by any autopsy report—no one saw any sign of bruising.  That being said, I think lay people over-estimate how quickly and easily people get injured.  I see people say that you would also expect to see bruised hands after a punch.  I got in my share of fights in school (always defensive, fyi), and I never had bruised hands after punching anyone and I don’t recall anyone who hit me showing that kind of bruising.  So I don’t necessarily think that is proof he is incorrect.

On the other hand, his claim that Brown was “never in the car when the bullet struck him” at about 6:14 is in conflict with the physical evidence, including Brown’s blood significantly in the car.

And then at 9:06 he claims that Wilson shot Brown in the back, which we know didn’t happen.  But let me offer this limited explanation.  It sounds like Johnson was to the side of Brown.  Let’s say the private autopsy is right, that Brown was shot in the back of his right arm, with the bullet coming out of his forearm.  If you are standing from the side, you might see that shot and mistakenly think it is striking him in the back.  So that might not be a lie, but a mistake, and maybe even a reasonable one.

The next clip is apparently part of the same video.  Next up we get a clip from KSDK, on August 13, which you can view, here.  It seems like he is getting the time this all happened wildly wrong, but that doesn’t seem material.  And he seems to now be claiming that there was only one time Wilson told them to get off the road before he tries to slam his car door into them.  The problem with that is that the interview as a whole sounds edited, so it might be that he did mention the other times Wilson told them to get off the road and it didn’t make the final cut.  Otherwise it is basically the same story.

After that, they played an FBI interview with Johnson, and that doesn’t seem to be in the pile of evidence.  And that ends the file, but not the volume.  So on to the next file, which I will embed for you:

Right off the bat, we do see them talk about seeing the market surveillance footage that I think pretty much everyone knows about by now, and they suggest that Johnson was discussing it in the tape.

And now we get to our first named witness and it is a blockbuster:

Dorian Johnson: As background, I am assuming you know that Johnson is Brown’s friend who was there at the time of the shooting.  And we have already seen he is not exactly camera shy.  It is interesting that he introduces himself this way: “Good afternoon everybody. My name is Dorian Johnson, as you all well know.”

They start off by saying they are not there today to consider criminal charges.  They do not say that he is granted immunity of any kind.

He talks about meeting Brown.  He talks about smoking pot almost every day, but not that day.  He claims he had no knowledge of what Brown would do at the store.  His account of the theft of the cigarellos was very confused just because of Johnson’s expressive style, but sounded basically in line with what we saw on the video.  He also seems to be saying he didn’t know fully what Brown was doing.  He did hear the clerk say he was calling the police.

Interesting point.  In the prior video statements, he claimed that no cars had passed them when they were in the road.  Suddenly under oath there were a few, but they weren’t a problem.  And here’s the real start of the encounter, after Wilson told him to get off the road:

We continued to walk and have our conversation, but almost a split second we heard the tires screech, and the officer, he pulled back in the truck very fast to the point at an angle if we didn't hear his tires screech, the back of his cruiser would have struck one of us, not both of us, it would have struck both of us or one of us because of the way he angled in reverse.

He never drove and turned around, he reversed real fast. Why he reversed so fast on us and the angle that he did in the manner, now we are almost not inches away from his front door, like we was right in his face now. He never got out of the car, he just pulled right back on the side of us, but it is almost at an angle.

(Vol. 4, pp.47-48; pdf p. 35-36).  He goes on to describe how the fight started at the car:

A And Big Mike, in an instant, Big Mike was finished saying something, his door was thrust open, very complex, he thrust his door open real hard. We was so close to the door that it hit mostly Big Mike, but it hit me on my left side and it closed back on him, like real fast. Just the same speed, boom, boom, that fast.

And at that time he never attempted to open the door again like to try to get back out, but his arm came out the window and that's the first initial contact that they had. The officer grabbed, he grabbed ahold of Big Mike's shirt around the neck area.

Q So did he grab his neck or his shirt around the neck area?

A It was more of both because he had a real good grip on him.

Q Was there any warning, did he just stuck his hand out and grab, does he say something, did he say anything?

A No, ma'am, at this time when the door had closed back on him, he didn't say anything. His arm almost in an instant came out the window, his left arm, I remember it was his left arm, came out the window and touched Big Mike around his neck area and his throat. I watched his hands, you know, they really tightened up, so yeah, he had a good grip on it, that what's I saw first.

(Vol. 4, pp.49-50; pdf p. 37-38).  He also claims that Brown had cigarellos in both hands, suggesting that he couldn’t have been using them for anything else. 

And at that time Big Mike, he still has the Cigarillos in both of his hands, divided evenly, he never put them down in his pocket or anything like that.

Now, from the beginning of the grab, it is a tug of war. Big Mike places his hands openly, one hand on top of the cruiser and the other hand more right up under the window, the side mirror. He's trying to pull off the officer's grip.

Q How is he doing that with the Cigarillos in his hand?

A He placed the Cigarillos on the car and his hands are on the car. He never dropped a single pack.

(Vol. 4, pp.50-51; pdf p. 39-40).  This is definitely one of those moments when I would have wanted to see him answering that question.  I don’t know how you have an open hand on the top of the car without dropping the cigarellos.

He claims the cop was trying to pull him in the car.  And he is asked specifically if he saw Brown’s hands in the car.  He says he didn’t.

About then one or more of the jurors asked questions.  They got quite a bit into the sentiment of “why the heck didn’t you just get on the sidewalk?”  I think they, like me, find people walking needlessly in the street to be a pet peeve.  And one of the jurors (and this always might be the same one), saying it is strange to act this way if you just committed a crime.  They also ask why he didn’t just pay for the cigarellos for Brown, and his explanation is just he was trying to get out of there, thrown off by the situation.  He also claimed that he put some back.

Then he gets to the part when Wilson supposedly drew the gun and threatened to shoot.  Incidentally, Johnson claims he has been shot in the past.  And then we get to the first shot being fired:

The gun definitely was inside the car when he fired the shot. How me and Big Mike was standing, we were standing straight up, so we definitely was outside the vehicle. The bullet came outside the car and struck him. He was never inside the car and got struck, he was outside the car when the first shot went off.

Now, you probably recall that there was soot in the hand wound.  That means, as mentioned in the last post that “that particular bullet was probably fired within 6 to 9 inches, or 6 to 12 inches of the actual body.”  So a foot away, max.  So that is physically possible, but stretching it.

He also misplaces where the bullet struck:

A The officer was inside the car, so the gun was inside the car, but when he shot the gun, bullet traveled outside his car and struck Big Mike in the chest, or I seen blood coming from.

Q (By Ms. Whirley) You are not sure where the wound--

A It struck him, I definitely know that it hit him, I saw the blood with the first shot.

Q Are you absolutely certain, I know you talked about being in shock and that kind of thing, this is very important, this jury is trying to get this thing figured out.

Are you absolutely certain that you did not see Big Mike's hands inside the officer's car in a struggle with the officer?

A Now, his hand being inside the car, I won't speculate on, like I said, there was times where the officer had a good pull and his arm would get in there, but majority of the time the officer really didn't have that much power because of the position that they both had. I'm not saying that he was stronger than the officer, but because the officer was sitting down in his car and Big Mike was standing up and he had better, more strength in pulling from the officer.

Q Right, can you go ahead?

A I never saw at no point in time Big Mike's hand touch the gun or anything like that because of the gun was already out drawn.

Q How about touching the officer?

A Now, touching the officer, now touching the officer, maybe, because they're pulling each other, but as far as striking the officer, or physically striking the officer, no, I didn't see.

Q You didn't see him with a fist?

A No, ma'am, he never had his fist clenched up like in a punching manner, so much as trying to grab stuff and push himself off of.

Q Could it have happened and you missed it?

A Him striking the officer?

Q Right, some type of physical altercation with the officer inside the car?

A Like I said, I was standing so close and directly in the doorway with him the whole time pulling away, he never swung his left arm at all or never put the left arm inside the window, anything like that. And because the officer had his right arm, I'm almost positive that he couldn't like hit the officer because the officer has his right arm.

(Vol. 4, pp.106-108; pdf p. 94-96).  I don’t know how he could have reasonably thought that the first shot was in the chest.  He constantly says he is standing to the right of Brown.  Brown was shot in the hand, first.  So how could he have missed that Brown was shot there, that it he was bleeding there?  And his near certainty that Brown never struck Wilson is contradicted by the photographic evidence.  And then they kind of grill him on the story about Wilson reaching out from inside the car.

MS. ALIZADEH: Hard to figure out why he couldn't break free if the officer has him just with his left hand?

A Uh-huh.

MS. ALIZADEH: First of all, by the neck?

A Uh-huh.

MS. ALIZADEH: And then you said by his shirt?

A Correct.

MS. ALIZADEH: You couldn't just, do you understand it might be difficult to understand why he couldn't just, just the sheer weight of him if he had fallen over his shirt would have ripped.

A I understand that, that would almost be believable if the officer was somebody of my size. If the officer was a small person, Darren Wilson didn't look small from his arm and from his, like I said, I saw his top part.

(Vol. 4, pp.112; pdf p. 100).  And then they turn and run, and it gets even more confused.  Seriously, I known people like that and you have to filter out so much of what they said to try to comprehend the thought they are trying to communicate to you.  It is tiring:

A I never looked at myself because I was so afraid I was like, oh, I saw him. My eyes got big, he didn't say anything after that. He kind of looked at my face and saw my eyes and at that time, that was when the officer let go and we were both able to run. That's when I turn and run. He was right behind me.

Q Which way did you run on the map?

A After the first shot took off, we both ran this way. (indicating)

Q Okay.

A Now, I was so in shock and so in fear, at that time now I'm just, I'm really afraid, I'm really afraid. I don't know if the officer's coming towards Big Mike or just towards both of us. Right now I'm just so afraid that the time I get past the first vehicle, I was in front of Big Mike when we was walking. When I took off running, I was still in front of him.

When I got to the first vehicle, which was like a Sunfire or gray Sunfire, so very small vehicle. The officer was not yet out of his car, he was still in his car because I was able to run to the car and like stand, not squatting real low, but I was standing behind the car, the Sunfire, but I know he was able to still see the back of my neck and hair and all of those things.

When Big Mike ran past me, he saw me, he looked directly at me he said, keep running, Bro.  And at that time is when I kind of hear the door opening, I figure the officer is getting out of his car now, but before then, like I said, the officer was still in his car, I was able to run, squat behind the first car.

Big Mike ran, he was right behind me. He looked directly in my eyes and said, keep running, Bro. That's when I knew that I was still in plain sight. Now, the tension of me, I'm so afraid that I can't move any more, so I'm just standing there behind the first car now.

There is people in this car. Now there is people coming outside the house because they heard the first shot, there is not that many people. As Big Mike run past me and sees me, he keeps going. He makes it past the second car, once he gets to the second car, I can feel, I'm not looking around me because I'm so scared. I'm just standing there and I can feel someone approaching, so I kind of give a glance over to my right and it is the officer now, he's walking, he's walking, but he is kind of fast walking. He's not running or anything like that, but he has his weapon drawn.

(Vol. 4, pp.116-18; pdf p. 104-106).  That bit about people in a car raises interesting possibilities.  Here’s what he says happened with those people, leading into the second bullet being fired:

A After he walked past me, I kind of stand up more. I'm trying to ask the people in the first car, could I please just let me in the vehicle, I stay in the same complex. You can just drop me off. They said no, and they pulled off on the sidewalk.

Q Where did they pull to?

A The first car? They didn't drive through the driveway, they pulled on the sidewalk to drive past the police officer. Once they pulled off, I was even more visible now. I'm standing straight, the officer's back is towards me, Big Mike's back is towards me and the officer because he is running away.

I'm watching the officer, he's walking and Big Mike gets past the third car, the final car before the second shot was fired. It was the second shot fired, pow, the officer shot. I don't know if it hit, I wasn't that close to see that it struck Big Mike, but the manner that he jerked and just stopped in his track, I sense that he was hit again.

The first time I definitely knew, I definitely saw him get shot the first time, he had been struck one time already.

The second time he shot, I didn't know if it hit him or not, but he kind of jerked and that's when he stopped running. He just kind of stopped and turned around at the officer. And now he's face-to-face with the officer, but not so close.

(Vol. 4, pp.119-120; pdf p. 107-108).  And then the “hands up don’t shoot” moment, according to Johnson:

A I see him fire the second shot, I see Big Mike turn around and face the officer. And now the officer is past the last car and Big Mike is off the sidewalk now more in the street.

Q What is Big Mike doing?

A At that time Big Mike's hands was up, but not so much up in the air because he had been struck already in this region somewhere on this. It was like this hands is up and this hand is kind of like down sort of.

Q His hands were nowhere near his waist?

A No, his hands never went down towards his waistline or anything, like he didn't have a belt on or anything.

(Vol. 4, p.121; pdf p. 108).  I think what he was saying was that his injuries were preventing him from raising his hands completely.  And he says Brown said he didn’t have a gun, something to that effect, and after that, more shooting:

And he goes, he never started running because, you know, he's hit, but sort of, I don't have a gun. And before he can say the second sentence or before he can even get it out, that's when the several more shots came.

(Vol. 4, p.123; pdf p. 111).  And he describes him falling:

A And I stood and watched face-to-face as every shot was fired and as his body went down and his body never.  His body kind of just went down and fell, you know, like a step, you know what I'm saying? Like a step, his body just kind of collapsed down and he just

Q Was he walking towards the officer as he was collapsing?

A He couldn't get a step off like. When he was giving his second sentence, what he was going to say, it was like he was going to step close to the officer, but like I said, before he could even get that sentence out, the rest of the shots was hitting him and he was going down.

Q And was shots being fired as he was going down?

A Shots was definitely fired while he was going down. The last shot he fired he was so close to the ground, it looked like to me he was already on the ground. His knees were, he was going down, he was already down before the last shot came.

(Vol. 4, pp. 124-25; pdf pp. 112-13).  And shortly after that he runs, claiming he feared for his life.  Next he says he came back a few minutes later, and Wilson is gone, Brown is laying in the street and people are gathered around.  He makes it sound like there are no cops there.  And indeed on page 126 of the pdf (Vol. 4, p. 138) he talks about then the cops come and start putting up crime scene tape.  They haven’t outright said in the evidence that the other cops got there very quickly, but it is my impression and if that impression is correct...  it’s a problem for Johnson’s credibility.

He also claimed that the body was not covered and people were taking cell phone pictures and the like.  Has anyone seen that on the internet?  You know it leaked on the internet if it happened.  I Googled around and saw only a few pictures from a distance—maybe 100 feet away.

And a juror asks a question I am wondering about myself.  They found two casings near the car.  So why was there only one shot supposedly near the car?  Johnson has no answer for that.

On page 151 of the pdf (Vol. 4, p. 163), he also mentions the autopsy, meaning the private autopsy.  And then finally he talks about some run ins with the law.  He claimed he was busted falsely for false report and was falsely accused of theft.

And that ends the volume, and that seems like a good stopping point.  After all, the next day, looking ahead is all about Darren Wilson—his prior statements, and the plan presented is for him to testify.  So it seems to be wise to stop before getting to all of that.

But let me end with what I think of his credibility.  There is no smoking gun “gotcha” moment where I can be sure he is lying.  I think it is hard to believe Brown’s hands were not in the car at all, given the bruising on Wilson’s face, and the blood from when Wilson shot him in the hand.  I also find it very difficult to believe that Johnson could see things as well as he claimed, but be confused and not realize that Brown had been shot in the hand closest to him.  Finally, let’s talk about the moment the final shots were fired.  Suddenly we are hearing that Brown got shot as he fell.  First, according to the Assistant Medical Examiner in Part 2 of this series, the only wound that would knock Brown off his feet is the one on top of the head.  The others were serious and life-threatening, but they wouldn’t cause him to fall.  I suppose, however, it is possible that Brown just chose to fall.

And then there is the strange behavior being alleged here.  According to him Wilson was so mad about jaywalking, or their attitude he 1) almost hit them with his car, 2) did hit them with his door, 3) then attacked Brown from inside his car, resulting in a fracas that ultimately had Wilson kill him for apparently no reason.  Oh, and as a bonus he continued to shoot the man in mid fall, and apparently hit him at least twice in the head.  It’s a story that is hard to swallow.

Of course Wilson’s story, at least as it appears in the ABC news interview, has some over reaction, but there is some explanation for it.  Brown was a person known for pointless aggression.  I don’t think I noted it but the cigarellos are not expensive—less than a buck a pack.  But he committed strong-arm robbery to get it.  And then he and Johnson just walked in the middle of the road, never thinking that this was drawing attention to themselves.  That is not rational behavior, making it easier to believe he would do other irrational things.

Finally, this is a badly contaminated witness.  He talks about talking about what happened with others, hearing what they saw as well as what he saw.  And he apparently watched the news conference with Dr. Baden.  So if he needed to come up with a story that fit all the bullet holes, he knew how to do it.

It’s not binary right now.  I cannot rule out the possibility that he is telling the truth, but I don’t have very much confidence he is giving us the straight story.


My wife and I have lost our jobs due to the harassment of convicted terrorist (and adjudicated pedophile) Brett Kimberlin, including an attempt to get us killed and to frame me for a crime carrying a sentence of up to ten years.  I know that claim sounds fantastic, but if you read starting here, you will see absolute proof of these claims using documentary and video evidence.  If you would like to help in the fight to hold Mr. Kimberlin accountable, please hit the donation link on the right.  And thank you.

Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.  And you can purchase my book (or borrow it for free if you have Amazon Prime), Archangel: A Novel of Alternate, Recent History here.  And you can read a little more about my novel, here.



I have accused some people, particularly Brett Kimberlin, of reprehensible conduct.  In some cases, the conduct is even criminal.  In all cases, the only justice I want is through the appropriate legal process—such as the criminal justice system.  I do not want to see vigilante violence against any person or any threat of such violence.  This kind of conduct is not only morally wrong, but it is counter-productive.

In the particular case of Brett Kimberlin, I do not want you to even contact him.  Do not call him.  Do not write him a letter.  Do not write him an email.  Do not text-message him.  Do not engage in any kind of directed communication.  I say this in part because under Maryland law, that can quickly become harassment and I don’t want that to happen to him.

And for that matter, don’t go on his property.  Don’t sneak around and try to photograph him.  Frankly try not to even be within his field of vision.  Your behavior could quickly cross the line into harassment in that way too (not to mention trespass and other concerns).

And do not contact his organizations, either.  And most of all, leave his family alone.

The only exception to all that is that if you are reporting on this, there is of course nothing wrong with contacting him for things like his official response to any stories you might report.  And even then if he tells you to stop contacting him, obey that request.  That this is a key element in making out a harassment claim under Maryland law—that a person asks you to stop and you refuse.

And let me say something else.  In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that any person supporting me has done any of the above.  But if any of you have, stop it, and if you haven’t don’t start.


  1. This is incredibly well done Aaron. Like a boss

  2. One sentence in this post was confusing to me: "I don’t think I noted it but the cigarellos are expensive—less than a buck a pack."

    Did you really mean "expensive"? Or did you mean "cheap"?

    1. i left out a "not." Thanks for the head's up, and it is fixed, now.