The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Part 4): Darren Wilson Speaks and a Legal Point

This is a series of posts where I plan to go through all 4799 pages of transcripts 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.

In Part 3, we heard from Darian Johnson, both in the form of media clips and from his own mouth.  We also reviewed the private autopsy done by Dr. Baden.

And with that, we can jump into the day’s business, which is another volume in the transcript.  I am still in my third pdf, embedded here for your convenience:

This is all starts on page 170, and that is the beginning of Volume 5 of the transcripts.  Now, they start off by discussing the law of when force is justified.  That is an important point, and I am going to divert a few moments to talk about that.

There are only two circumstances I can think of when a police officer is allowed to use deadly force: self-defense/defense of others and in order to arrest another.  As usual none of this should be mistaken for legal advice—I am discussing the law with you so that you as sovereigns of the republic can be informed about the law and, if you so desire, change it through the appropriate democratic process.  The rules for self-defense and the defense of others is pretty standard—the major wrinkle being that even in retreat jurisdictions, a cop never has a duty to retreat.

But it gets a little complicated when it comes to the right to shoot a person to arrest.

First, Mo. Rev. Stat. § 563.046 states in relevant part that:

3. A law enforcement officer in effecting an arrest or in preventing an escape from custody is justified in using deadly force only [...]

(2) When he reasonably believes that such use of deadly force is immediately necessary to effect the arrest and also reasonably believes that the person to be arrested

(a) Has committed or attempted to commit a felony; or […]

I discuss all of this in much more detail, here, but the question becomes, did Brown commit a felony of any kind?  Well, first the theft of the cigarellos wasn’t a felony because of the low value of the item stolen.  So that is out.  But if you believe Wilson’s ABC News account (shared in Part 2 of this series), it seems that Brown committed assault in the first degree.  that is covered by Mo. Rev. Stat. § 565.050 which says:

1. A person commits the crime of assault in the first degree if he attempts to kill or knowingly causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person.

2. Assault in the first degree is a class B felony unless in the course thereof the actor inflicts serious physical injury on the victim in which case it is a class A felony.

Now if you looked the photos in the introductory post in this series, I think we can easily agree that Wilson didn’t actually suffer a serious physical injury when they fought at the SUV.  Even if you assume Wilson is telling the truth on every point, that just isn’t serious enough to count.  But it is equally assault in the first degree if you attempt to cause serious physical injury, and trying to shoot a person in the leg counts as that.  So if you believe Wilson’s account, you also believe that Brown did attempt to commit felony assault, or at least Wilson had the requisite reasonable belief that he did needed to justify deadly force in arresting Brown.

Also Wilson’s ABC News account describes assault on a law enforcement officer, and unlike the assault in the first degree statute, the injury attempted or completed doesn’t have to be serious.

Now, to the complicating factor: Tennessee v. Garner (1985).  In that case the Supreme Court dealt with how the Fourth Amendment applies to shooting to effectuate arrest.  You see, an arrest is considered a seizure under the Fourth Amendment, and therefore it must be reasonable.  On that point, the Supreme Court said this:

The use of deadly force to prevent the escape of all felony suspects, whatever the circumstances, is constitutionally unreasonable. It is not better that all felony suspects die than that they escape. Where the suspect poses no immediate threat to the officer and no threat to others, the harm resulting from failing to apprehend him does not justify the use of deadly force to do so. It is no doubt unfortunate when a suspect who is in sight escapes, but the fact that the police arrive a little late or are a little slower afoot does not always justify killing the suspect. A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead. The Tennessee statute is unconstitutional insofar as it authorizes the use of deadly force against such fleeing suspects.

“Aha!” said Karoli over at the eponymous Crooks and Liars (in paraphrase), “the Missouri statute allows deadly force to be used to apprehend any kind of felon, not just violent felons!  Therefore, it is unconstitutional!”  She goes on to argue that since for much of the time the Grand Jury didn’t have what she considered to be the “right law” in front of them, that it ruins the whole process.

Now, before I go forward, full disclosure.  I dislike her deeply as a human being and I believe for good reason.  For instance, she has declared herself a fan of convicted terrorist and adjudicated pedophile Brett Kimberlin and wrote a hit piece defaming my friend John Hoge for defending himself against an adjudicated harasser.  In other words, she supports brass knuckle politics used to silence protected speech, and opposes any effort to contain that kind of thug tactics.  She is exactly what is wrong with politics, right now.

But really I don’t have to dislike her in order to find her analysis idiotic.  It just makes it more fun to point it out.

What is wrong with her analysis?  Let me count the ways.  First, let me start with the most subtle point of law.  Garner was not a criminal case.  Instead, it was a civil suit, dealing with alleged civil rights violations when a cop shot a fleeing suspect.  So what the court was discussing is whether this statute would provide immunity from civil rights suit.

That is not the same as saying suddenly it is criminal under Tennessee (or Missouri) law to shoot a fleeing “non-dangerous” suspect.  The Supreme Court doesn’t command states to criminalize conduct.  I’ve literally never heard of it happening and it flies directly in the face of doctrines such as the rule of lenity.  That is not, however, to say that he is in the clear in relation to the criminal law: in theory the federal courts might interpret federal criminal civil rights statutes the same way.  So one could imagine a scenario where a cop shoots a “non-dangerous” fleeing suspect, the state law makes that conduct legal, but the Federal Government decides to prosecute for criminal civil rights violations, and the courts might then hold that the state statute is no shield.  And even that is iffy, because the Supreme Court doesn’t like the idea of creating a federal common law of criminal conduct.  Still, however that legal question turns out, it doesn’t suddenly change the statutory law of Missouri.

That’s a subtle point and there are even lawyers who miss it (such as the lawyers before the grand jury in this case, evidently) so I won’t call Karoli dumb for making that comment.’

On the other hand, she is dumb for thinking that such an error in law taints the whole process.  If the grand jury was misapplying the law, it can be fully corrected as long as they figure out before they actually finish their deliberations.  They can recall witnesses, they can even ask their own questions.  She admits they get the law “right” (noting that the right answer to her is actually wrong, but whatever) before the end, so where is the harm?

And that is not the only dumb thing in Karoli’s analysis.  Garner said a cop is not immune if he shoots a non-dangerous suspect.  As the Garner court said:

Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force. Thus, if the suspect threatens the officer with a weapon or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm, deadly force may be used if necessary to prevent escape, and if, where feasible, some warning has been given.

If you believe Wilson, Brown tried to shoot him.  That was a “threatened infliction of serious physical harm” and therefore, if you believe Wilson, deadly force was justified.  And if you believe Wilson is substantially lying, then neither Garner nor Missouri law will help him.

But, it is even dumber than that.  As I noted in Part 2, Wilson’s theory has nothing to do with shooting to apprehend at all.  Wilson’s theory is that he shot to protect himself from death or serious bodily injury.  So they were misunderstanding a statute that appears to have zero relevance to this situation.  It would be as though the jury was misread a law on computer hacking in this case—so the hell what?

So Karoli 1) mistakenly thought the Supreme Court created criminal liability when it didn’t, 2) thought it tainted the deliberative process when it couldn’t, 3) failed to realize that even under her mistaken reading of the law Wilson could lawfully shoot Brown if you believe his story, and 4) is not even applicable to Wilson’s defense theory.  And only one of those errors isn’t pretty dumb on her part.

Also, over at Legal Insurrection Andrew Branca made similar points when pointing out what an idiot Lawrence O’Donnell was on this point.  I know, fish in a barrel.  Indeed, O’Donnell has a history of being laughably wrong on the law.

There is also another dumb legal theory, this time being promoted by Think Progress: that it was improper for the Grand Jury to consider self-defense.  Branca does a good job tearing it down, as well, here, and I don’t have anything to add to that, but I will summarize his argument.  Basically ThinkRegress is confused between the concepts of 1) not being required to do something and 2) being prohibited from doing it.  Like I am not required to drive a car, but that doesn’t imply that I am prohibited from doing so.  Likewise, the Supreme Court has made it clear that the prosecutors are not required to present evidence of self-defense to a Grand Jury, but that is not the same as saying it is prohibited.  And he can go through the doctrinal reasons for this, but his reduction to absurdity is the best point:

A Secret Service Agent cuts down an assassin moments before the killer can take the President’s life, all caught on cameras by news agencies worldwide as the President delivers a major policy speech? Sorry, Agent, here’s your indictment, we’ll see you at the trial.  After all, he concedes he committed the killing, and merely claims legal justification for doing so–but the Grand Jury is not permitted to hear the justifcation.

A maniac gunning down children in a school is shot and killed by the school resource officer assigned to that duty, all events testified to by scores of surviving teachers and students? Sorry, officer, here’s your indictment, we’ll see you at trial.  Again, the Grand Jury is permitted to hear the concession of the use of force, but not the justification.

A murderously abusive husband invades his wife’s place of work, killing her colleagues with shotgun blasts as he seeks her out, until a security officer takes him out with a well-placed gun shot to the head, all events caught on the company’s CCTV system? Sorry, sir, here’s your indictment, we’ll see you at trial.  You get the idea.

He had shifted in this point from self-defense to the defense of others, but the two are basically identical concepts.  I believe in every state whatever you can do to protect yourself, you can do to protect others and often the law lumps the two into the same statute.  So, if anything, a prosecutor should tackle the defense of self-defense, if it is reasonably raised, if only to avoid wasting everyone’s time with a trial that the prosecutor can’t win (and shouldn’t win).

So, with that out of the way, let’s get back to the testimony, shall we?  Next up there was housekeeping and they set out plans to hear from various people leading up to Officer Wilson himself.  This is the sketch of their plan for the day:

And so first we're going to listen to a recorded statement. The person being interviewed is a sergeant with the Ferguson Police Department, his name is [redacted].  He was the sergeant on duty on the date of the shooting and he was Darren Wilson's direct supervisor.

You will hear his statement. It is about an hour long. And then following his statement, Sergeant [redacted] will be here to testify.  After that, we will present the testimony of Detective [redacted], who is a St. Louis County police detective, regarding an interview that he did of Darren Wilson.

And then we are going to present the testimony of [redacted].

And she is an FBI agent and she also did an interview of Darren Wilson.

Then we will also present a recorded interview of Darren Wilson for you to listen, that's about 30 minutes.

And then finally, I anticipate that the afternoon will have Darren Wilson testifying for you this afternoon.

Hey, redundancies are redundant, and we all do this when we talk.  They listen to some audio of Wilson being interviewed and then they had live testimony by yet (sigh) another anonymous witness, whom I shall call:

Sergeant of Police: he has been a cop for 38 years, in Ferguson, and has been a sergeant for twelve years.  And he is a squad supervisor over Darren Wilson.

One thing of note is he says he got to the scene between two and two-and-a-half minutes after dispatch told him he was needed.  And Wilson was on the scene sitting in the driver’s side of his vehicle.  No crime scene tape was up at that point.  This seems to contradict Johnson’s claim that there were not cops when he came back, although there is enough flexibility in the timeline at this time not to rule it out.  Indeed, I don’t believe he said exactly when he arrived, meaning we will have to figure that out based on his testimony, later.

So he talks to Wilson and gets his story.  I am going to add quotation marks for clarity to the transcript.  They will not be bracketed as is the normal procedure when you add something to a quote.  So he says:

Q All right. And as best you recall, what's the first thing he said to you?

A He said “I had to shoot him.”

I asked him “why?”

He said “he had been walking in the street, I told him to get off the sidewalk, or get on the sidewalk.”

I said “okay.”

He said “well, they told me to fuck off. I slowed my car down,” or he slowed his car down “and I told him, ‘hey, all you got to do is get out of the street and get on the sidewalk.’”

Q Okay. Now, let me stop you. You're saying I told them, so you are talking as Officer Wilson and that's good.

A That is what he told me.

Q That's how I want you to do this. So speak as best you can the way Officer Wilson spoke as if you were Officer Wilson?

A Okay. And he said he stopped his vehicle and he said the individual laying on the street came up to the side of his car and started hitting on him through the window.

I said “hitting you?”

He goes, “yeah, he reached in, he hit me on the side of my face several times, and grabbed at my shirt, grabbed at my hands and arms.”

He said “I was trying to get out of the vehicle and he wouldn't let me out, he kept pushing the door closed.”

The individual reached in and was trying to grab at his pistol, his pistol came out of his holster. He told me he had control of the weapon, but it was being pointed at him. He had the gun in his hand, but the muzzle of the weapon had been turned where his hand was actually turned toward him.

And he said he was still getting hit with one hand at times and there was a struggle over the gun. He said the weapon was, he didn't get control of the weapon, but he was able to turn the weapon away from himself and the firearm discharged. He said the gun went off.

Q Is that how he described it, the gun went off?

A The gun went off.

Q Or did he say I fired a shot?

A No, he said the gun went off.

Q Okay.

A He said at that point the individual backed up away from the car and Darren thought he actually got shot, he said “I think I shot him in the stomach. And I looked at the side of the car door, and there was no exit on the door, it was just a dimple in the sheet metal.”

I said “what happened then?”

He said “he started running, I got out of the car to chase after him.” He said he got down about 30, 40 feet from where the car was parked and for some reason the individual stopped and turned toward him.

I said “okay.”

He said, at that point he said something to the effect of, “you're too much of a pussy to shoot me” and turned, he had faced him and started to charge at Officer Wilson.

Q Did Officer Wilson use those words that he started to charge?

A Yes, along with, said he had had an angry look in his face or in his eyes and he says “I know this man was bigger than me, I wasn't going to be able to fight him.”

Q What did he say happened next?

A He said he shot him.

Q I asked him how many times?

A He says I think four.

(Vol. 5, pp.31-34; pdf p. 199-203).  Now there are a few things to note here.  The conversation is not recorded and the witness didn’t even record notes near the time.  So this was pure memory.  That might explain the variations in what he said.  For instance, in the ABC News interview Wilson said Brown used that line about being too much of a “page*ssy” to shoot when they were fighting at the car.  In this version, it was being said after that.  That variation can he attributed to the way stories just get warped when people repeat it.

And then they go into how a cop saying not being aware of how many times he fired in that situation is common.  He himself had to shoot a man on duty, thought he fired three times, and actually fired four times.  In short, this scene is full of crap:

Or maybe Eastwood is such a cool customer that he actually can keep his head on straight enough to know how many bullets he fired.

As an intermission, here is a video of a young Jim Carrey imitating Clint Eastwood, proving he is in fact a mutant:

So returning to the subject, the point is Wilson getting the number of shots wrong is just the kind of variation you expect.

He goes on through some of the handling of the crime scene.  He notes that normally the officer in this situation would stay on the scene to walk the detective through his account, but there was a safety issue with the gathering and angry crowd.

He also tells them how after talking with the FBI, Wilson asked to tell him in detail what happened.  So we get this exchange:

Q Now, is there anything about this second version, I don't mean to use the word version like it is different or implying that it is different, his second time telling you what happened?

A There was some more things that he added.

Q Details that he added?

A Yes, ma'am.

Q Was there anything inconsistent with what he had told you previously?

A No, ma'am.

(Vol. 5, p.47; pdf p. 216).  And he talks in more detail about how it started:

Q Did he talk about anything about the stealing that occurred at Ferguson Market that he was stopping these two to investigate that?

A He said he did not have that call, that call I later found out was given to Officer

Q Did he know about it, did he talk about knowing about the stealing?

A He did not know anything about the stealing call.

Q He told you he did not know anything about the stealing?

A He did not know anything. He was out on another call in the apartment complex adjacent to Canfield Green.

Q Okay. And so when he's stopping these two it is strictly about the sidewalk, it has nothing to do with him investigating the stealing of Cigarillos; is that correct?

A That is correct.

(Vol. 5, p. 52-53; pdf p. 221-22).  This is in contradiction of what he said on ABC News.  So is that the wages of hearsay, or did the story change?

And a lot has been made of the fact that Wilson didn’t file an incident report.  Well, apparently normally this current witness would be required to do one, but because the investigation was handed over to St. Louis County, he didn’t have to file one.  So that might be related to why Wilson didn’t file such a report.  And that is assuming he would normally be required to do so at all, which hasn’t been established to my satisfaction, yet.

And they talk a few times about Brown both raising his arms and charging him.  But it is unclear if it is a “hands up don’t shoot” gesture, or something more like a football player.  He demonstrated it for the jury but there is no description.

And it ends with this testimonial:

I've worked with Officer Wilson for two and a half years. He's been under my supervision that long.

Darren is a very easy going individual, always has a smile on his face. Doesn't go trying to start trouble or look for trouble, does a good job.

I have very little supervisory hours dedicated to Darren Wilson. He knows his job very well and he does it very well.

My opinion, put in this circumstances, I don't know what I would have done.  I probably would have done the same thing.

So, I mean, Darren did not just all of the sudden go from trying to chase this guy down and take him into custody to deciding just to shoot him because. So, I mean, Darren is a good officer.

(Vol. 5, p.74; pdf p. 242).  So what he is saying is that the behavior Johnson described would be out of character for him, for what it is worth.  I don’t know if he was aware of Johnson’s version of events, but there you go.

And that ends his testimony.  Next up, we have another anonymous witness...

…And if I can go off on a rant for a moment (and since this is my blog, I can), it is wrong for them to have had so many officials be anonymous.  This is not what transparency is.  I mean this next guy is only identified as a “detective.”  If he is recalled to the stand, I have no idea if I will be able to figure out which prior witness he is.  This it he government.  Darren Wilson is the government, Bob McColloch is the government and so is every one of those cops.  They need to stand up and be accountable to the public.  Whatever justification there is for keeping many witnesses anonymous, it is not sufficient when talking about the government.

That being said, I also recognize that the law might prevent McColloch’s office from releasing their names.  So the blame might reside with the individual witnesses who are not consenting.  I honestly don’t know.  But whoever is making this decision is making the wrong call.

Anyway, rant over, let’s go to the next witnesses who like I said can only be identified as:

Anonymous Detective: Not even a rank, not even a job description, just he’s a detective.  Sigh.  He has been a cop for 8 years, and 2 ½ years as a detective.  Incidentally, he had testified before the Grand Jury before, on a different matter.  See, in case you don’t know it, Grand Juries are better thought of as sort of like an public office held by citizens by draft.  You get called in and you hear many cases.  This is in contrast to a normal jury which only hears one case.  As explained in the beginning of this (but I didn’t share), this Grand Jury was actually supposed to be dismissed because their term was about to expire, but they agreed to stay on to finish one case.  So a new Grand Jury was convened to deal with all the new cases, while this one extended the term to address this one case.  And he had evidently testified before this same Grand Jury, but in a different case.

He goes through some basics about getting the call, calling the medical examiner.  Nothing too vital.  And that takes us to the end of that pdf.  So we need to embed the next pdf:

Anyway, so we learn that another anonymous (sigh) detective was the “case detective” who is essentially in charge of coordinating the investigation.  That Case Detective assigned him to do what is called a “cursory interview” with Wilson.  Which is not recorded, apparently as by their procedure.  He eventually meets with Wilson, an attorney and a few other officers.

Wilson had taken off his duty belt, which I am tempted to refer to as his “Batman Utility Belt.”  (And cops I know jokingly make that comparison themselves.)  He talks about how Wilson had already “downloaded” his gun and put it in the evidence bag.  He points out that normally in his department Wilson would not be putting the gun in the evidence bag, but he can’t say what the Ferguson procedures are.  Much later, he says this didn’t compromise the integrity of the evidence, though.

He didn’t see blood on the officer, “at that time.”  I get the sense that he said it that way to indicate later he did.  For instance, when I testified in Brett Kimberlin’s dumb defamation suit he asked me if I knew if there were any charges related to sex with an underaged child in Indiana.  I responded by saying something like: “I know of no charges related to sex with an underage child, in Indiana” with a heavy and obvious emphasis on those last two words, so the jury would suspect I knew of charges outside of Indiana (he had been charged in Maryland with essentially statutory rape).  I suspect this detective is doing something similar, here, but with bare text, you can only guess.

He did, however, see injuries on Wilson, some reddening and swelling consistent with getting hit.  They did go from there to the hospital, but he took off his shirt and switched to that T-shirt, first.  So at the hospital they did the cursory interview, with an attorney present.  And I think it is worthwhile to quote him at length when he gets Wilson’s story:

I just essentially asked Officer Darren Wilson to describe what happened and where he was at prior to the incident up through the incident.

He tells me that he was leaving an unrelated sick case call and was driving, it would be west on Canfield Road. As he's driving he hears a call that was not assigned to him for a stealing in progress at 9101 West Florissant Avenue, and he provides us with that address and the nature of the  call was a stealing.

He said that the call comments indicated the suspect description was a black male wearing a black shirt and brown shorts, and that an additional call comment indicated that taken during the stealing were Cigarillos.

I’ll break in for a moment.  You notice that this is a contradiction between the claims made by the last witness, the ABC News interview, and this one.  In the latter two, Wilson claimed he knew about the theft call.  The first guy said he said he didn’t.  All of this typically falls into exceptions to the hearsay rule, but it is still hearsay.  It is still someone’s memory about what someone said happened, instead of what they said.  But I will note that this is based on notes that eventually went into a report, so I think that is more trustworthy than the last witness.  But it is no substitute for a recording.

Resuming his testimony without interruption:

Q Go ahead.

A I'm sorry. He continues and says he's driving west down, continues west down Canfield Road and he sees two subjects approaching from the area of West Florissant and Canfield walking in the center of the street.

I then ask Officer Darren Wilson to describe the two subjects.

He describes one subject as a black male, dark complexion, approximately 5 foot 5, with short dreadlock style hair wearing a black T-shirt. He describes the second male as a black male, medium complexion, approximately 6 foot 3, approximately 270 pounds, clean shaven, wearing a red baseball style cap, a gray shirt, khaki shorts and yellow socks.

Officer Wilson then tells me that as he's traveling west down Canfield Road, he stops his patrol vehicle and allows the two subjects to approach. So basically they're walking towards the front of his patrol vehicle.

Q Did he indicate whether they were walking single file or side by side or anything?

A He never did and I didn't ask. He just says they were walking down the center of the street.

Q Okay.

A He says at this time his driver's window is down, fully down.

Breaking in, again, this is makes you wonder where the glass in the car is coming from?  You have two possibilities—from the window or from the side mirror (I don’t think they verified it was intact).  We’ll see if this question gets answered eventually.

Continuing in the same paragraph:

A The, he allows the subjects to approach and then says to the two subjects. "Hey, why don't you guys walk on the sidewalk." And that's what he quoted, that's the quote that he said.

Q Did he say anything about whether he thought this was a confrontation or it was an angry exchange or did he not refer at all?

A He didn't elaborate, he just said that I stated.

Q Okay, go ahead.

A He says right after he makes that statement, the shorter male says, "we're almost to our destination." And then it's quickly followed by the larger male stating, "the fuck with what you have to say", and he quotes that. And then they continue to walk past his vehicle, which would be east on Canfield.

Q At that point does he say that he investigates these two for stealing Cigarillos, does he mention anything to them about the theft?

A He doesn't say anything like that to me.

Q Okay. Go ahead.

A Officer Wilson, Officer Darren Wilson then tells me that he got on his radio and says that he's going to be conducting, notifies his dispatcher he is conducting a pedestrian check and he requests an assist car.

He then places his vehicle in reverse and backs up towards the subjects. He places his car in park, I'm sorry. As he attempts to exit his vehicle he says, "hey, come here." That's a quote that he used, "hey, come here."

As he's opening his door he feels the door get slammed shut and then realizes the larger of the two subjects pushed his driver's door closed.

He then tells the large subject to get back and to move, and attempts to open the door a second time. The door is then forced shut again, and he describes that the larger subject is standing at his driver's door with both hands on the door frame of the vehicle like where the window would come up is how he describes it.

And then Officer Wilson orders the subject, or the subject to get back again. And those are his words, get back and move is what the two words that he's using.

Officer Wilson then tells me that the subject then enters through the opened driver's door window with his upper body. And he details it is his upper body and both of his arms.

The subject, according to Officer Darren Wilson, begins striking him in the chin, face, shoulders and chest. As he described it is the subject was swinging wildly.

During this time Officer Wilson's trying to deflect the punches with his left hand while giving the subject commands to get back and move and stop.

After that, Officer Wilson, he continues and states that subject then reaches backwards with his left hand, and basically removes his left hand and arm from the vehicle and hands something to the other subject and says, "here, take this," is what Officer Wilson says that he hears the larger subject say.

He did not, nor did I ask, describe what he thought was handed off, but he said that he handed something.

He continues that immediately after the subject says, "here, take this." He then quickly moves his left arm and hand back into the vehicle and then punches Officer Darren Wilson in the right side of the face.

Officer Wilson then tells me that this instantly stunned him and he starts basically backing away and leaning back. Officer Wilson tells me he continues with his left hand and forearm to try to deflect the punches that he's being hit with and then he starts going, as he puts it, through the progression on his belt.

He thinks about grabbing his mace, which is situated on his duty belt, however, he is in a seated position and he can't retrieve it and it is on the right side of his belt.

He then considers using an asp baton.  What an asp baton is, is a retractable baton that's standard issue for law enforcement. He says that he believed that due to the confined space from within the patrol vehicle, that it would be an ineffective tool.

And at this point I believe I asked Officer Darren Wilson if he thought he could escape any other way? And he says no.  He describes the interior of the patrol vehicle or the Tahoe as having a computer and a radio and a shotgun in the center console, which prevented him from being able to climb over or get out of the passenger side of the vehicle.

I asked Officer Darren Wilson to continue. He stated that he then used his left forearm, again, to try to create space between himself and the subject, and then he retrieves his department issued firearm from his holster, which is situated on the right side of his belt.

Q Did he say, or do you know, he said the mace is situated on the right side of his belt and the gun is situated on the right side of the belt, correct?

A The mace was on the left side.

Q I thought you said the right side.

A The mace was on the left side, his department issued firearm is on his right side.

Q Okay, thank you. You can go on.

A He then removes his department issued firearm from his holster and begins to raise it and as he's raising it he yells, he said he yelled, stop or I'll shoot.

Officer Wilson then tells me the subject then grabs with his hand the top of the slide of the firearm. And he says that his hand is large enough to encompass the top of the slide. The majority of the hand grips and the trigger guard, and that's with Darren Wilson, he says his hand is on it, Darren Wilson's hand is on the weapon.

The subject then responded with, "you're too much of a pussy to shoot me." And that was a quote from Darren Wilson.

This is more in line with what he said in the ABC News interview, but out of line with the last witness.

Continuing that same quote:

Q Did he give you any of his opinions or thoughts about what was going on when he says, "you are too much of a pussy to shoot me," or did he just kind of tell you what happened?

A Just told me what happened.

Q Okay.

A The subject makes that statement. And then immediately following that statement, the subject then forces the firearm in a downward angle and Officer Darren Wilson tells me he can feel the barrel of his own firearm pressed against his left hip as he is in the seated position.

Officer Wilson then continued stating that once he felt the barrel of the weapon pushed into his hip, he was able to shift his lower half to the right and basically get the barrel of the firearm to now be pointed at the seat and off of his hip.

He then with his left hand, with his right hand on the gun, on the handgrips of the gun, and he takes his left hand and puts it on the side of the frame of the weapon. And then is able to push it away from him to where the weapon is now pointed at the driver's door.

He says that he then pulls the trigger and nothing happens, the gun misfires.

He continues by stating that he believed that due to the subjects hands being on the top of the slide and on the trigger, I'm sorry, on the hammer, that's what caused the gun to misfire.

Officer Wilson continues and states that he then pulled the trigger again, at which time one round of ammunition was fired.

In the ABC News interview he seems to have claimed two attempts to pull the trigger before it fired the first time.  Again, changing story, or the wages of hearsay?  I report, you decide.

Continuing the same quote:

A Immediately following that, he sees a large explosion of glass and then looks down and sees what he believed was blood on his hands. He said at that point he didn't know if he was injured or the subject was injured, just knew that he saw blood.

Officer Wilson continued that the subject hands were still on the gun and he pulled the trigger two more times and it misfired both times.

This makes it a slight shuffling of events.  In the ABC News interview, he says he tried to shoot twice, shot once, then tried a third time.  Here it is claimed that he said he tried to shoot once, shot, then tried two times.


The subject then reentered the vehicle and assaulted Officer Darren Wilson by punching him several more times in the face and then stopped the assault and ran eastbound on Canfield Road away from the vehicle.

Q So one shot you said was fired inside, while he was sitting inside the vehicle?

A Yes.

Q Okay. And he considered, he realized he could not escape, I'm not saying he should escape, he considered that he could go to the left side or passenger side, he was blocked by the shotgun or?

A Yes, he describes that there's a computer,
a large center console with a radio and like the controls to the light bar and siren, and then a shotgun. And there's just no means of escape through the passenger side of the car.

Q But he said he did consider that?

A Yes.

Q Did he ever get to the other side?

A He said he was unable to.

Q He was what?

A He was unable to.

Q But he considered that is what you said he said?

A Yes.

Q Okay. All right. So go ahead, so now the suspect is running east?

A Yes. He says that the subject is then running east on Canfield, and Officer Darren Wilson then exits his vehicle and upon doing so, he says he radioed to his dispatcher that shots were fired, and he continued to exit the vehicle.

He says he observed the subject running east on Canfield at which time he pursued on foot.

He says after, or during this chase, he's giving the subject loud, verbal commands as he puts it, to stop and to get on the ground.

Officer Wilson then tells me that the subject then stops and turns around. He estimated the distance was approximately 30 feet from him.

So at that time Officer Wilson stopped in the street and then began to order the subject to stop and get on the ground.

He continues and tells me that as he turns around, the subject has, as he quotes it, "an intense and psychotic look on his face." The subject then takes his right hand and moves it towards his waistband on the right side.

Officer Wilson then says the subject screams something inaudible, doesn't know what he said, but just screams something and begins to charge him. And that's Officer Wilson's word was charge.

As the subject is moving towards him, he is giving him, continually giving him commands to stop. As he is backpedaling to try to, as he says, try to maintain the distance between the two.

He then continues and states that he knew if the subject were to reach him, that he would, and he quotes, "he would be done." Meaning that Officer Wilson would be done. He knew, he immediately stated he knew he was overpowered and assaulted already one time in the vehicle.

Officer Wilson continued and stated as the subject got within 15 feet of him, he discharged five rounds of ammunition. He said that this had no effect and the subject continued towards him.

Q Did he indicate whether, did he, he may not have, indicate whether or not any of the five rounds entered the body of Michael Brown?

A He did not know, nor did I ask. He just said that the subject continued to come towards him.

Q Did he indicate to you how, when the subject turned around, I think you said that he put his arms some kind of way and charged him?

A He says that --

Q Can you demonstrate that for us?

A I'm sorry?

Q Did he show you how?

A Officer Wilson kind of spoke with his hands and he does demonstrate that the subject --

Q Can you stand up and show us, please?

A Yes. When the subject turns around, his right and goes to his waistband. Now, he did not say in his waistband or he just says to his waistband.

And like we kind of covered earlier, the cursory interview is not to get, it is more so for the physical evidence to assist the investigators on the scene.

(Vol. 5, p.99-111; pdf p. 18-30).  I will say one thing about the “hand near the waistband” thing.  As I recall when they found Brown his pants were down and we all know that pants sagging is a style.  Is it possible that Brown was worried his pants was literally going to fall down and so he was reaching down innocently and it was misinterpreted?  I am not sure.

More from the testimony:

Q Okay, all right. He lets off, I think you said, five more shots?

A Yes, he says that the first shots were five, he believes it was approximately five rounds of ammunition and the subject continued towards him.

He then discharged two additional, approximately two additional rounds of ammunition, and he said those had no effect and the subject continued towards him.

He then states that the subject started to lean forward and to Officer Darren Wilson appeared that the subject was attempting to tackle him, and that's his word was tackle. At which time he discharged one additional round of ammunition.

Officer Wilson stated he then used his radio and notified his dispatcher, and I believe his quote was, "send me every car you've got and the supervisor."

Q Did he indicate that he knew where that last round landed?

A He said he believed it hit him in his head.

(Vol. 5, p.111-12; pdf p. 30-31).  And then a grand juror asks about the misfires:

[juror]  The first misfire he said was because Michael's hand was on the gun, what about the second and third one, was there still that contact going on?

A He says that that's what he believed. Now, I'm not a firearms expert nor was I there, but he says that he believes that that's what caused the misfire.

Throughout this he never says that Michael, the subject, takes his hand off the weapon until he continues the assault, the second assault in the vehicle.

(Vol. 5, p.115-16; pdf p. 34-35).  One theory for the subsequent problems with firing is what is called “stovepiping” which amounts to basically a cartridge not ejecting properly, catching in the slide and keeping the gun from firing, which is more likely to happen if a hand is on top of the slide.  That problem can be created and then accidentally fixed very easily in the fight for a gun.  We saw in the ABC News Interview that he ended up “racking” his gun, that is pulling the slide back to insert another round.  That might explain it.

The witness also stated that Wilson claimed to call for help saying “shots fired” and the like.  In the ABC News interview he said he learned later that the radio was set to the wrong channel, during the struggle.

The same witness makes the point I made earlier about the relationship between where a gun is shot and where the cartridge is ejected:

[juror] If a gun was, if a weapon was, a shot was fired inside the car that there would be a spent casing inside the car or could it exit the window?

A It could definitely eject through the window.

[juror] The window that's in front of you?

A Yes, it could have, in just my experience, casings could end up in very odd places. It will eject, and it could bounce off something, you know, there is plenty of obstructions inside of a car, any typical car a steering wheel, the dashboard, it could end up anywhere.

[juror] Or moving body?

A A moving body, yeah. It could have been, seen it before where it is caught in clothes and it would fallout as a person is running away and it is further away from the scene than what you would expect. There's no predetermined place for a casing to land when it is ejected.

(Vol. 5, p.127-28; pdf p. 45-46).  In other words, it gives you kind of an idea where a gun was fired, but nothing like pinpoint accuracy.  I would say typically it falls within an 8 foot radius, although even that can be seriously altered.

That ends his testimony, and next they listened to a recording of an interview with Wilson.  This appears to be the same interview as transcribed as this file:

So let’s look at that one, shall we?

First, in regards to his background, he says he was a cop for five years, and worked for Ferguson for three.  On page 4 of the interview he says he heard the call for the theft of the cigarellos.  And we get the now-familiar encounter over them walking in the road:

D. Wilson:       I said, "Okay, but what's wrong with the sidewalk." And then that was as they were passing my window the second subject said, "Fuck what you have to say."

Det.                 Okay.

D. Wilson:       And, then after that I put the vehicle in reverse, backed up about ten feet to 'em, a, attempted to open my door. Prior to backing up I did callout on the radio. I said "Frank 21, out with two, send me another car." Um...

The key thing is he still isn’t mentioning anything about him figuring out that they were related to the robbery, at least not at this time, only that he heard the call.

He echoes how he goes through his mind what he can use, writing off mace as being as much as danger to himself as Brown.

And then he gets to the point where he pulls the trigger for the first time, and he says tried to fire twice.

And I had trouble understanding this part:

D. Wilson:       Urn, I tried again. It fired. When it fired, my window had been down the entire time. Glass shot up. The first thing I remember seeing is glass flyin' and blood all over my right hand on the back side of my hand.

(Page 8).  I didn’t understand that until I rewatched the ABC News interview.  Then in that he explained that the bullet went into the door, and shattered the window that had been rolled down, causing it to burst upward.  I will add that it is not clear to me now if he shot Brown in the hand at this point (with a  grazing wound), or later.  Wilson doesn’t seem to know.  Maybe forensics will tell me.

He brings up that he gave the shots fired call, and says at this point he figured out later he was on the wrong channel.  He doesn’t blame it on the struggle, as he did in the ABC News interview, but he isn’t asked.

And I will quote in full his description of the final moments:

D. Wilson:       I exited. I followed him in that direction. After I said on the radio, "Shots fired. Send me more cars", I was yelling at him to stop and get on the ground. He kept running and then eventually he stopped in this area somewhere. When he stopped, he turned, looked at me, made like a grunting noise and had the most intense aggressive face I've ever seen on a person. When he looked at me, he then did like the know like people do to start running. And, he started running at me. During his first stride, he took his right hand put it under his shirt and into his waistband. And I ordered him to stop and get on the ground again. He didn't; I fired, a, multiple shots. After I fired the multiple shots I paused for a second, yelled at him to get on the ground again, he was still in the same state. Still charging hands still in his waistband, hadn't slowed down. I fired another set of shots. Same thing, still running at me hadn't slowed down, hands still in his waistband. He gets about eight to ten feet away, a he's still coming at me in the same way. I fired more shots. One of those, however many of them hit on him in the head and he went down right there. When he went down his hand was still under his, his right hand was still under his body looked like it was still in his waistband. I never touched him. I said urn, got on the radio and said, "Send me every car we got and a supervisor." Fifteen to twenty seconds later, two marked cars show up, code three sirens and lights on.

(Page 10).  That is pretty much in line with what he said in the ABC news interview.  And we notice that he claims that backup was there much too fast for Johnson to have gone home, changed and come back, not to see any police presence..  And I say that recognizing that he might have thought the police were faster than literally 20 seconds.  His sense of time and distance really seems to suck, bluntly.  But even if 20 seconds is more like a couple minutes, this is a direct contradiction between their stories and I expect the testimony of others to back up on his or Johnson’s version.

On the same page, he theorizes that the blood came after the first shot, suggesting that the first shot is the one that grazed his hand near his thumb.

And on page 11, he first mentions that he stopped in part because he thought he might be involved in the theft. 

He also decided to stop guessing how many bullets he fired, and reports that he had thirteen rounds in the gun originally, and only one was left when he examined it afterward.  Which technically means he was at the scene left with only one bullet in the gun, which seems like a mistake, albeit a human one.

So that is it for that interview transcript, and so we get back to the grand jury transcript.

So next up we had another live witness, this time an anonymous (ugh)...

FBI Agent: she’s been with the FBI three and a half years.  She was never a cop anywhere prior to that, but she had been a civilian crime scene investigator in Baltimore.  They don’t indicate how long she had done that.

She interviewed Wilson on August 28, so over two weeks after the incident.  And this, of course, is September 16, so none of this is when the memory is fresh.  And she can apparently testify to other subjects, but the focus of the day is Wilson and what he has said in the past.  And they didn’t record this interview, because it is not FBI policy to record, for some reason.  But like the second witness of the day, she did take notes and write a report from those notes.

I am leaning against an extensive quotation of much of this.  We’ll see if it becomes necessary.  But some specific notes.  This time, again he is saying he was thinking they might have been involved in the theft call.  He specifically called for backup right away.  And this is important enough to quote:

He said, Officer Wilson said his plan was to stall them until another officer got there.  He was not going to try to arrest or even question either one of them because he was out numbered and incredibly outsized by Michael Brown. In fact, he quoted as saying, he would overpower me.

(Vol. 5, p.155; pdf p. 74).  He said something to the same effect in the ABC News Interview, but he didn’t include that detail, previously.  So is he embellishing his story, or just remembering more as he sorts it all out.  Either answer is possible.

And he talks about going through his training again, almost exactly like the ABC interview only he specifically referred to something called the “force triangle” which is apparently a way to conceptualize what amount of force can be lawfully used.  He said he believed Brown could beat him to death, justifying the use of deadly force.

And this is an interesting new detail, after the first shot (in the car):

After the gun goes off, Brown stepped back from the car. He described somewhat in shock and Brown puts his hands together at his right hip, he demonstrated. And Officer Wilson thought maybe he was hit there, which is why he put his hand there.

(Vol. 5, p.160; pdf p. 79).  I had wondered about the claim that Wilson said he thought he hit him in the stomach, but this verifies it and explains.  And if we go back to my “sagging pants” theory, it might be consistent with that—Brown might have been pulling them up, or keeping it there in case he had to, and Wilson thought maybe he was hurt there.  And another detail coming out more clearly is he seemed to be hoping the first shot would go through the door and hit Brown.  But as I recall the bullet did not exit the metal of the door on the outside.

A cartridge stovepiped in a gun.
And another detail that comes out is that when he “racked” his gun (pulled back his slide to fix whatever was stopping him from firing) he did so “blindly.”  So it might have been the case that the cartridge was sticking up like a pipe from an old timey stove.  Which is where the term comes from.  And then he fixed it automatically.

And the witness reveals she didn’t ask how he racked it.  The agent notes that it could be done with two hands, or off his steering wheel.  Then the second shot:

He fired the gun again, he pulled the trigger again, the gun fired and he saw, and he wasn't looking where he was shooting he said, he saw a cloud of dust in the dirt across the street and assumed Michael Brown had not been hit because that's where he assumed the projectile landed.

(Vol. 5, p.163; pdf p. 82).  And on the next page he says he called for help as Brown fled, but can’t remember whether he did it on his car radio or the portable radio on his person.  Which is critical, because I am guessing there is no record of that call, and it is more plausible that the channel was changed on his personal radio.  And Wilson said he gave chase because Brown had, after all, committed assault on an officer.

And more details from the pursuit:

So when he got out of the vehicle he did still have his gun in his hand, but it was down at his side because it is easier for him to run instead of having it pointed at Michael Brown. And also because Michael was running away from him, he did not feel he was an immediate threat to keep his gun pointed on him.

(Vol. 5, p.165-166; pdf p. 84-85).  This would be a direct contradiction with any claim that he shot at him from behind.  And I will note that it is very hard to hit a moving target while you are moving, with a pistol.  I will add that a moment later the agent says specifically Wilson claimed he didn’t shoot at Brown as they ran away.

And this is an important point, I think:

Q So he doesn't describe seeing, like what we see on TV, pow, pow, immediately blood spurt and you would see it on the shirt, he doesn't describe seeing anything like that?

A No, he didn't.

(Vol. 5, p.167; pdf p. 86).  So Wilson is saying Hollywood has lied to me?  Say it isn’t so!

Moving on, Brown says he was leaning forward as he was charging toward him, and that’s about when he fired the fatal blow.  Wilson said he was the one calling for the ambulance, which is a slight contradiction with what the last witness said.  And we get finally where he realizes his personal radio was on the wrong channel:

So he drove back to the station, he noticed that his handheld radio was on channel 3 instead of channel 1. Channel 1 was the Ferguson dispatch and channel 3 was St. Louis County Police Department Dispatch. He wasn't even sure, while he could hear St. Louis County, he wasn't sure if he keyed up that they would hear him whatever he said.

(Vol. 5, p.172; pdf p. 91).  So it is possible that they heard none of it, or the St. Louis Co. PD dispatch heard him and figured out what was going on, judging by his story.

And they explain why there has been no incident report filed:

The last thing was it is the sergeant's responsibility to write a use of force report. It is Wilson's responsibility to write an incident report, but as of August 28th, 2014, Officer Wilson had not been back to the station, so he has not had the opportunity to write an incident report.

(Vol. 5, p.175-176; pdf p. 94-95).  So because he was on leave, and now he has recently resigned, that report will never be filed.  I tend to think that the better approach would be “write the report and then get out of here” but in everyone’s favor, it seems pretty redundant at this point.  And another point that comes out, is that when he first stopped, and he called for backup, he didn’t say anything about the stealing call.  He knew by reputation that if he asked for assistance, he would get it, and it wasn’t necessary.

They also verify that basically he says he didn’t touch the body, and didn’t check for a pulse.  He goes through some details of Wilson’s background.  The only thing he goes into any details about is this bit:

A There was a complaint made against him and two other officers describing that was ultimately found to be unfounded, to describe Officer Wilson and two others attacks, an African-American male who was just walking down the street in the city and used racial slurs towards him, beat him up so badly that he had bleeding on his brain.

What was found to have actually happened was this gentleman was breaking in and was inside Officer Wilson's car. The three officers who were off duty at the time went outside and tried to detain him, he ran away.

When they chased him, I don't know which one of them tackled him on the ground, he hit his face on the way down.

This was an internal affairs investigation, the investigation was completed and they discussed with the hospital that the individual, the person who was either the victim of use of force or stealing a car, his injuries were consistent with what the officers described and that there was no bleeding of the brain.

The woman who made the complaint was not an eyewitness, but the aunt of the individual.

Q The subject that was injured?

A Yes, ma'am.

(Vol. 5, pp.184-85; pdf pp. 103-104).  I will be honest, I am unclear who was alleged to have done what, but I think the interesting thing is how dismissive she is of it.  There are two ways Wilson could get in federal trouble: either because he violated the general constitutional rights of the defendant, such as using more force than justified, or because he was motivated by racism.  This seems to cross the issue of racism off—she doesn’t find that even slightly credible.  The grand jurors had a few more questions and they wrapped it up.  That takes us to the last planned witness of the day:

Darren Wilson: He describes his height as 6’4” and is between 205-213 pounds.  They don’t talk any about his background, how long he has been an officer, but in fact dive right into it pretty quickly.

His testimony starts on page 115 of my pdf, and Vol. 5, page 196 by that designation.  I don’t plan to go over everything because I feel like I have heard it all before, but I will call out differences, either being more detail, or contradicting what he said before.

He says in this recounting that once he focused on Brown, he put together that they were likely to suspects from the theft.  This contradicts what the first witnesses said, but didn’t take notes, didn’t record it.  And talking about the cigarellos, he says that he only sees them in one hand.  This is direction contradicted by Johnson.  But really, almost all of it is contradicted by Johnson.

But it is quoting him so you know that his justification for the first shot was self-defense:

Q And it was your opinion that you needed to pullout your weapon because why did you feel that way, I don't want to put words in your mouth?

A I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he's obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I've already taken two to the face and I didn't think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.

Q You thought he could hit you and it would be a fatal injury?

A Or at least unconscious and then who knows what would happen to me after that.

And if you accept his version of events, then that is the doctrine of self-defense.  To remind you, you don’t have to only be afraid of dying.  You can also be concerned with being subjected to serious physical injury.  One reason for this is that you shouldn’t have to endure such injuries, period.  Another is that such injuries often create a fear that you will fall unconscious and then who knows?  Would Brown have stopped if he knocked Wilson out?  Or would he have gone on to kill him?  There was no way for Wilson to know (if he is telling the truth, obviously), and the law doesn’t require him to take the chance.

And he describes seeing blood for the first time on the back of hand after he shot into the door and the glass came up.  And he says toward the end he is leaning forward as though to tackle him.

And he says that when he shot him in the head: “And then when it went into him, the demeanor on his face went blank, the aggression was gone, it was gone, I mean, I knew he stopped, the threat was stopped.”  (Vol. 5, p.229; pdf p. 149).  I think he literally saw his life disappear from him in that moment.

And on page 152 of the pdf, (Vol. 5, p. 233), he says that Brown turned at a light pole.  I looked over the pics in the introductory post and I can’t figure out what pole he is talking about, but maybe other people can.

And in this version Wilson is asked if he called for an ambulance.  He says he hadn’t and asks one of the first officers on the scene to call for him.  And he describes in detail the moment he figured out his radio was on the wrong channel as he drove back to the station:

And that's the only other thing I remember thinking about is I heard the car radio going off and mine wasn't. That doesn't make sense.  So I hit the scan button on mine thinking the scan button got messed up, I wasn't getting everything.

And I did that and it still, this one is going off and mine's not. So then I looked at it and I was on channel 3. I was like, I don't know what was heard or what wasn't heard.

(Vol. 5, p.239; pdf p. 158).  And that finishes his initial run, and then it goes back to additional questions, often from the grand jurors.  They clarify how he “racked” the gun, and he explained that he used both hands and he says he doesn’t know how the blood got on his pants, admitting it might be that as he drove to the station he accidentally touched it with his bloody hand, which he admitted he didn’t know was bloody until he was driving back.  So logically, that limits how much that stain can tell us about what happened.

And they asked him if he grabbed Brown by the throat, and he said he didn’t, or by his shoulder.  This is a direct contradiction of what Johnson said, obviously.  Another complaint often raised is that he was putting others in danger.  This is what he said to that:

[juror] Did you ever think while you were firing that you could have hit another innocent standbyer. (sic)

A When I originally fired the first time, when he turned around and I raised my weapon, I remember looking behind him and seeing nothing. I didn't see a car, I didn't see a person, there is nothing behind him. And after the first round of shots, I had tunnel vision on his hand. After that, when I refocused, I still don't remember ever seeing anybody behind him.

(Vol. 5, p.275; pdf p. 194).  So there is that.  The remaining testimony contains no surprises or contradictions.

Since I evaluated Dorian Johnson’s testimony, I am tempted to evaluate Darren Wilson’s too.

If I was to be neutral, I would say he comes off as very credible.  I can’t see his testimony, but bluntly, as a lawyer, I consider him to be a very good witness.  If this was him testifying about a third party’s actions, I would consider it to be good evidence.

But I resolved at the beginning not to be neutral, not to just believe him unless he is backed up by forensics and so on.  He has said nothing that is contradicted by forensics, but that doesn’t mean he is necessarily telling the truth.

It is also worth noting that his consistency seems to rise when the method of recording improves.  That is, his transcribed interview with the police, his testimony, and even his ABC News interview is very consistent.  By comparison, he is less consistent in how the second witness claimed he described events, or the FBI agent, and even more inconsistent with the first witness, but then again the second witness and the FBI agent was going off notes, and the first was going off pure memory.  So as the memory of a third person is reduced as a factor, his consistency goes up.  This makes me think that these witnesses’ accounts of his version of events are suffering from all the problems that come with hearsay.

But there are something like a dozen more witnesses to hear from, including eye witnesses and two autopsies.  We’ll see how it develops.  Wilson has harmed himself, but I am not yet ready to draw a conclusion that I believe him.


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.

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