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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Reading the Darren Wilson Transcript (Part 5): Witness 10 and More

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 the 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.

In Part 4, I point out what a complete idiot Karoli is, and I talk about Wilson’s side of it, including his actual testimony.

Since these posts are also a repository of random news, I will note that over the weekend, Wilson resigned, and didn’t even get a severance.  That last part is surprising, because in my experience many people resigning have gotten them if only in exchange for promising not to sue their former employer.  This is either a confession that he wouldn’t have a viable claim, or simply nobility on his part.   I report, you decide.

And for that matter, it wouldn’t surprise me if he is hoping that by being decent to his former employer, it will make him more employable in the future.

Anyway, with that aside, let’s jump into the next chunk of the transcript.  We are in this file:

…and we are starting off with a new volume: 6.  As usual there was some housekeeping, it dealt with how they would have different eyewitnesses testifying.  Some wanted to be anonymous to the world at large, so they would not even start the recording until after they gave out some personal information.  As I mentioned in the last post, this is slightly more justifiable in the case of private citizens, but not by very much.  The good news is that they also decided they would be referred to by witness number, so hey, maybe we can have some clarity, at least.  After all, I complained previously there was no nomenclature system, and now they are giving us one, belatedly.  Let’s hope this makes it work out a little better.

In fact they go further and integrate the system to the prior witnesses.  This doesn’t eliminate my criticism, but it mitigates it significantly.  Here’s how one of the prosecutors explained it: “So if you recall who was the investigator with the Medical Examiner's Office, he was witness number one. Number two was Detective [redacted]...” and pretty soon there were so many redactions it made it a little difficult to decipher, so let me offer my own guide, going by the titles I gave them before.

Witness 1: Medical Legal Investigator
Witness 2: Crime Scene Detective.
Witness 3: Crime Scene Detective (a second one).
Witness 4: Assistant Medical Examiner (he did the autopsy).
Witness 5: Dorian Johnson .
Witness 6: Sergeant of Police.
Witness 7: Anonymous Detective
Witness 8: FBI Agent
Witness 9: Darren Wilson.

Feel free to check my work against her description (Vol. 6, p.8-9; pdf p. 213-14).  I am only pretty sure I am getting this right.  And then weirdly, she says she won’t give witness numbers to those who have been in the media.  Which hopefully will be helpful because it allows my readers to find their own video evidence, and check the consistency of the story.  [Ed: it turned out that this meant they wouldn’t identify them at all, it seems.  Which is worse.]

Then they start talking about a witness, and start talking about media interviews s/he did…  without identifying him or her.  Sigh.  So who knows what the jury is hearing.  After that, they have a witness interview.

And then finally they actually transcribed an interview with a witness.  The witness was not given a number at this time, but we got to read the interview.

This witness sees some kind of struggle in the car from his home.  Not much information, there, but then he says:

Um, when, but the guy, he constantly, he just ran down in the middle of the street and the officer just gets out the car and shoots. I thought it was six times. So, um, when he, when he hit, I guess when he hit the first and the second time, the guy, he kinda stopped and turned around facing the officer, uh, bent down a little bit curled up, and the officer let out, what, three, maybe four more shots to the guy and that's when he hit the ground and, um, and that was it and that was the whole thing.

And he actually had a friend, he, I don't know, I just seen him duck down, a car, um, they had a car door open, it was a white car, um, he hopped in, I guess those two cars left.

So this contradicts Wilson’s account some by saying he shot as Brown ran from his car.  Also no mention of hands being up, an attempt to surrender.  But also no mention of Brown charging Wilson.  And he seemed to claim that Johnson got in a car and left.  Both Johnson and Wilson agree that Johnson left on foot, as in running the hell out of there.

So that is one interview by police.  The same guy apparently had a second interview.  In that one, the witness approached the cop and said he had something to add to the statement:

[witness] Yeah. Um, the only thing is um, when I was at the window, when I saw the altercation, the guy ran. I heard the shooting, that's when I saw the cop gets out of the car just when I was still --

DETECTIVE Did you say you heard shots first?

[witness] Yeah, I heard the shots first.


[witness] I was still at the window. That's when he got, got out of the car and I heard the shots. That's what drew me to outside so I could see what's going on.


[witness] And, uh, I guess the guy did get hit cause he turned around back towards facing the cop, kinda walking back towards him slow, curled up and he let go three, four shots back at him.

DETECTIVE Okay. Say that for me, he turned around, he started what, curled over and started walking --

[witness] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

DETECTIVE -- towards the officer?

[witness] Well, yeah, like he was hit and he shot him three or four times and that's when he hit the ground.

(Vol. 6, p.19-20; pdf pp. 223-24).  Let me note that my OCR always turns “um,” into “urn.”  I try to replace each of them with the right word, but it is just a matter of time before I screw this up.  So if you see “urn” in the sentence, you know what it probably means.

Analyzing the witness, I think he is not thinking precisely about what he saw v. what he can surmise.  He sees things that make him reasonably believe that a person was shot, but he plainly didn’t actually see him be shot.  This doesn’t mean he is lying, but lawyers know that proving a person a liar is only one way to undermine their credibility because there is much more to credibility than just honesty.  Here’s a pretty standard recitation of the elements you look for in determining a person’s credibility:

On reflection it becomes almost axiomatic that the appearance of telling the truth is but one of the elements that enter into the credibility of the evidence of a witness. Opportunities for knowledge, powers of observation, judgment and memory, ability to describe clearly what he has seen and heard, as well as other factors, combine to produce what is called credibility[.]

This witness seems to have a common problem in communicating clearly what he has actually seen, and not providing his conclusions.  I expect to see most witnesses have this problem, but it is particularly pronounced in his case.  After that, a third recorded statement.  It mentions that he happens to be African American.  Ideally that shouldn’t be relevant, and it isn’t relevant to me, but might be relevant to others.

This time, the same unidentified gentleman is saying he recorded part of what happened on his phone, but it was directly after the shooting.  And he is very vague about what he saw at the car, but the officer teases out some more detail:

I, I saw some, some arms going through the window. It might have been Michael Brown's arm, he might have been punching a police officer, or whatever. Something was going on through the window.

(Vol. 6, p.28; pdf p. 233).  So he’s not 100% sure, but it tends to support Wilson’s story.  He indicates he heard no shots until Wilson got out of the car.  He goes on to claim Johnson got in a car and even that he could hear their conversation, which seems dubious to me.  Again, the most charitable interpretation is that he is confusing what he surmised with what he saw.

And he clearly has been listening to other witnesses, referring to how they thought they heard him shoot while in the car, but he didn’t.

In the middle of this, I reached the end of the pdf file, so here’s the next one to read:

But the remainder of the interview provides nothing new, except his claim that Wilson stayed near the body until backup arrived, contradicting Johnson’s claim that Brown’s body was left alone when he returned to the scene.

After that, an FBI interview with the same witness.  This was on September 17, so pretty late.  One detail that comes out is that he had seen Brown around the neighborhood before, but didn’t really know him.  And then something revealing.  In the last interview he said he had cell phone video he took just after all the shooting was over.  I doubt I am ever going to see it, but in this interview they discussed the contents and they are kind of revealing, because of what was said on it:

[FBI Agent] Okay. So one of the very first things that you say, that you said that the guy, the black guy just ran, ran up to the car and was punching on it.

[Witness] Yeah.

[FBI Agent] You said, the dude ran on the side, um, you talking about the other one ran to the Monte Carlo, then he went back to the first guy. You said, the dude was all up in his car, you said up in his shit punching on him.

[Witness] Yeah, that's what I assume because, um, younger people like that, I think that, you know, that don't want to go to jail, you know, just being young. So, you know, I assume a person like that will be punching an officer to get away or something like that.

[FBI Agent] Okay.

[Witness] So I automatically assume that was going on.

(Vol. 6, p.67-68; pdf p. 22-23).  Now I extract two things from that.  First, he is again mixing up observation with assumption.  He assumes x happened, so he says x happened, when he really only saw much less and it might be interpreted more than one way.  And you can see the FBI agent (a woman) trying hard to get him to testify to what he saw only.

And while his blurring of assumption and observation is frustrating, the fact is his understanding of human nature isn’t wrong.  It is easier to understand what Brown did, if you think of it as a very ill-advised escape attempt.

The witness also talks for a bit about being nervous in his community, googling his name and reading threats like “snitches get stitches.”  And he is asked specifically if he saw Brown’s hands in the air and he says he didn’t.

And again, an assumption in the place of witnessing events:

[FBI Agent] I notice in some of your previous statements you had said that the kid had just got in the car and the car had driven off.

[witness] Yeah, um, I, I, I, I think that was maybe right when he saw his friend die, you know, hit the ground.

[FBI Agent] So my next question is, did you actually see him, the kid with the dreads, get in the car or did you assume he got in the car?

[witness] I, I, I assume, I assume that because the car was gone right after that, the car was gone.

[FBI Agent] And where were -- and did the kid with the dreads (inaudible) where you could see him?

[witness] No, I figure that he hopped in and asked to pull off.

(Vol. 6, p.100; pdf p. 55).  And then he suggests he is not sure about how many shots were allegedly fired just after Wilson emerged from his vehicle (with Brown running away):

[FBI Agent] I'm sorry, I can't remember if you said this, do you know how many?

[witness] How many he shots?

[FBI Agent] Uh-huh, before the pause?

[witness] I don't know, maybe five.

[FBI Agent] Are you guessing?

[witness] That should be about four, five.

[FBI Agent] Okay.

[witness] Yeah.

[FBI Agent] If you're not sure, it is fine to say you're not sure.

[witness] Okay. I know it was a nice round because he gets out of the car immediately and started shooting[.]

(Vol. 6, p.108-109; pdf p. 63-64).  One thing to note is that there might be multiple persons I am identifying as “[FBI Agent]”.  However, who is asking the questions here doesn’t really matter—it’s the answer that is relevant—so I don’t care overly much about sorting that out.

Anyway, the point of quoting that portion is that this guy is not exactly filling me with confidence that he is separating assumption from observation.  That last line “it was a nice round” seems to mean he is picking a “nice round number.”  In other words, guessing.  And bluntly I am not the only person wondering how much is based on what he observed and how much is based on guessing—the FBI agents seem to be worried about this, too.

And I admittedly missed it, but the FBI agents caught him at one point saying that there were shots fired in the car, and he further undermines his credibility:

[FBI Agent] The reason we ask you is because as [redacted] just read to you the transcript of your statement, you said at that point that the shot had gone off in the car.

[witness] Yeah, maybe, I mean, I know for sure I didn't hear a shot go off in the car, but, um, like I said, that's probably wasn't like the first interview, that's maybe because I'd have heard that a shot did go off so, you know, I was trying to put a puzzle together too, maybe that's the reason why they ran, but I didn't hear.

(Vol. 6, p.112; pdf p. 67).  And he goes on, and on, and on, about irrelevancies.  Seriously, dear reader, I am taking one for the team by reading all of this.  But after a long meandering discussion they talk about getting to another witness with live testimony.

I will stop and give my preliminary evaluation of this witness, with the recognition that we might hear from him again later, and thus my views might be revised.  As you sensed as I read through the various interviews with the police, I don’t find this person to be particularly credible.  There seems to be a lot of instances where I am not sure what he witnessed, versus what he assumed to have happened.  This is true of many witnesses in cases, but the problem is pronounced enough here that I don’t feel confident of pretty much anything he said.  Further, the story he was telling didn’t match anyone else’s.  Perhaps that will change over time, but right now, in isolation, I don’t have very much confidence that he is describing what he was able to see.

Witness 10: as indicated above, these witness numbers are determined by the attorneys assisting the grand jury.  And that made me wonder if this was the same person.  So I read a bit of the police interview with the same numbered witness and it looks like they are different people.  Besides the stories not matching up at all, the metaphorical “voice” of this new person seems different.  They have a different way of expressing themselves.  So we are jumping to a new person without having resolved, in my mind, the last unidentified “witness.”

It is probably best as a first step to review that police statement.  So here’s the embed so you can follow along:

After some preliminaries this is the core of what this person saw:

A Roughly I wanna say 8:40, I mean not 8:40, 11 :40-11:40 is when that-when I first seen these two guys. And, my initial thought was, "wow, that's a big dude." Because Mr. Brown, Mike Brown, my initial thought was he's a big guy. He's tall and like stocky build and that's it. He-he, they both walked passed me. I took my tools, went into [redacted] I came back outside [redacted] to get some more stuff and I looked down the street and I seen the police car at a slant and I seen Mr. Brown in the window of the police car looked .. .it appeared as they were wrestling through the window and one gunshot had let off. And, Mr. Brown took off running and my first thought was like "oh my gosh" did I actually just witness a police officer being murdered because it took a while for the police officer to get out of the car and pursue the-the suspect. And, I wanna say maybe six seconds, but it seemed like it was forever after the-the-the first gunshot. So, the police officer exited the vehicle with his weapon drawn pursuing Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown was quite a distance and he stopped and when he stopped, he didn't get down on the ground or anything. He turned around and he did some type of movement. I never seen him put his hands up or anything. I can't recall the movement that he did. I'm not sure if he pulled his pants up or-or whatever he did but I seen some type of movement and he started charging towards the police officer. The police officer then returned fire, well, not returned fire, open fire on Mr. Brown. Um, if I had to guess the shots and the-the distance between him and, a, Mr. Brown, it would have to be five to ten yards and the shots that were fired was four, five to six shots fired and Mr. Brown was still standing up. Um, and my thoughts was while he's missing this guy this close, is he-is he hitting him or because Mr. Brown there was no reaction from him to show that he was been hit. Um, after that, Mr. Brown then paused. He-he-he stopped running and when he stopped running the police officer stopped firing. And, then Mr. Brown continued, started again to charge towards him and after that the police officer returned fire and um well not returned, I'm using wrong... a started to fire once more at him. Um, if I had to guess the rounds that were fired then it would be four to five more shots and after that Mr. Brown collapsed and fell to the ground.

Q Okay. What happened then?

A Um, what happened then after that um I didn't see, it was a-a blue Monte Carlo, a-a newer model Monte Carlo, two-door and um, it was closer to the scene where the shooting was at, that occurred. They then drove off and made a-a left into the apartments and drove around the apartment and then came and stopped and um Mr. Brown's friend that he was walking with earlier, I didn't see him the whole time that um this was all going on with, a, confrontation with the police and the shooting and everything. At the end, after Mr. Brown had dropped and um, I seen the, his friend come out of-of nowhere and run across the street and a, said that, "Dog, they just-they just killed him. They just killed him" and he ran um, the back fields of Canfield ... the back open field. And um, I must say that also after the, um confrontation after the gunshot when Mr. Brown did run, I thought I heard a, something' metal hit the ground and I'm not sure what it was but I thought I heard somethin' hit the ground. And um, after that I believe, I'm not sure um, if I went in to [redacted] go tell the people that I was working with that I just...what I witnessed[.]

(Page 4-5).  He goes on to talk some about the aftermath, but of course the obvious thing that leaps out is that this is almost identical to Wilson’s story.  There are some differences.  He said there was one gunshot before Brown ran, but then again it might be the case that he came out after the first gunshot.

A few more things come out.  He was there doing repairs of some kind.  He didn’t know the residents, so it sounds like it was a landlord or a homeowner’s association who hired him, with the limitation that there are a lot of redactions in the parts I am getting that impression from.

And where Wilson seemed to indicate he chased Brown with his gun down, Witness 10 thought he kept his gun up:

At that point he has his gun drawn at a raised point. He-when he felt he came into a line ... close enough distance with him, um, it appeared that when he did raise his gun that he's verbally, urn, telling this guy givin' him a command and at that point, that's when I seen Mr. Brown tum and he like did somethin' I don't know if was to pull his pants up. It was some type of motion that took place with Mr. Brown's body gesture and after that, um, he began to run towards the police officer.

(Page 11).  So a slight difference.  He does agree that Wilson didn’t fire any shots after leaving the car, until Brown turned and came at him.  And he keeps saying that Brown is pulling up his pants, which supports my hypothesis on why his hand might be near his waist in Wilson’s story.  And he even uses the word “charging” just like Wilson (page 12).  He also describes Johnson as running around afterward and saying something like “they killed him, they killed him” which Johnson didn’t mention but...  bluntly, I could easily believe Johnson forgot about doing this because of the shock.

They also ask his opinion about what Wilson did, and I suspect you would be morbidly curious, so it starts on page 15 if you really want to know.  I’m not going to bother reporting it, because legally it is irrelevant.  Maybe a use of force expert might be able to testify, as one did in the Zimmerman case.  And bluntly, if Wilson is telling the truth, he clearly acted in self-defense.  The only question is if he is telling the truth.

Anyway, that is it for that police interview.  Now let’s go back to the testimony:

He does seem to be at least a little out of town, the way a person might live in the Bronx but work in Brooklyn.  He said he hadn’t been interviewed any other time besides that interview we just reviewd, not by law enforcement and not by the media.  And then he gives his account:

I just see Mr. Brown inside the police officer's window. It appeared as some sort of confrontation was taking place. After that, that took place for seconds, I'm not sure how long. I know that it appeared that some confrontation was taking place.

And one shot, the first shot was let loose and after the first shot, Mike Brown came out of the window and took off running.

With that happening, I thought instantly because the police officer didn't immediately react on how I would have thought it would have went down. Where he didn't immediately get out of his car and chase after Mike Brown.

So my initial thought was that wow, did I just witness this young guy kill a police officer.

So after that, Mike Brown ran some distance, the police officer exited his vehicle with his weapon drawn, pursuing Mike Brown, and I would say Mike Brown, he stopped right here. He was turning into this driveway right here, but he stopped right here.

The officer was already in pursuit of him. He stopped. He did turn, he did some sort of body gesture, I'm not sure what it was, but I know it was a body gesture. And I could say for sure he never put his hands up after he did his body gesture, he ran towards the officer full charge.

The officer fired several shots at him and to give an estimate, I would say roughly around five to six shots was fired at Mike Brown.

Mike Brown was still coming towards the officer and at this point I'm thinking, wow, is this officer missing Mike Brown at this close of a range.

Mike Brown continuously came forward in the charging motion and at some point, at one point he started to slow down and he came to a stop. And when he stopped, that's when the officer ceased fire and when he ceased fired, Mike Brown started to charge once more at him. When he charged once more, the officer returned fire with, I would say, give an estimate of three to four shots. And that's when Mike Brown finally collapsed right about even with this driveway. (indicating)

(Vol. 6, p.165-167; pdf pp. 120-122).  So this is basically consistent with his account to the police.  He continues to say there was a blue Monte Carlo moderately contradicting other witnesses.  They go into more detail, teasing out that he didn’t see anything until he saw Brown in the car, because he had been inside; that he didn’t hear yelling, screeching tires or anything like that, although it isn’t clear he would have heard it, if it was happening (and it seems pretty well established that there was at least some yelling).  And he continues to say that he can’t be sure what is going on when they were fighting at the window.  I have been in situations, seeing a person lean into a car and do something that might be fighting, but you can’t see well enough to be sure, so that seems realistic.  And even then he said he didn’t hear yelling, which might be just he couldn’t hear it.

This time he says clearly that as Wilson chased Brown, Wilson wasn’t pointing the gun at him.  And they ask a good question:

Q Do you know, I don't want you to guess, other than maybe if you observed something that caused you to assume, but do you know why Mike Brown stopped and turned around?

A No, I'm not sure. That is something that I wrestle with to this day, I'm not sure. I'm not sure if he knew the people that was in that car and he thought maybe he had time to go back to wrestle with this officer. To this day, why would he turn around and not give himself up.

(Vol. 6, p.177; pdf p. 132).  That is admittedly the only slightly odd thing in Wilson’s story—why turn around, then?  Why not keep running, or why not turn at a different time?  My pet theory is that, bluntly, I don’t think Brown was exactly a long distance runner, and he perhaps decided that outrunning Wilson was a losing proposition.  He might have thought the only way to get away was to attack Wilson and incapacitate him, at the very least.

Witness 10 clarifies that he was at a distance he didn’t think he could hear talking.  And he describes a “body gesture” when Brown turns around and he is asked to describe it:

I can't say for sure what sort of body gesture, I cannot recall fully. All I know is it was not in a surrendering motion of I'm surrendering, putting my hands up or anything, I'm not sure. If it was like a shoulder shrug or him pulling his pants up, I'm not sure. I really don't want to speculate things and that's what I have to say for that.

(Vol. 6, p.180; pdf p. 135).  And in contrast with the last witness you get a strong sense that he is separating speculation, what he assumed happened, from what he actually saw.  This helps his credibility, frankly.

And as Brown charges, Witness 10 says he saw Wilson fire first five or six shots and describes flinching by Brown:

Q And you made mention, I'm not sure if it was at that point, is it at this point that you thought oh, my God, he's missed him at that close range?

A Yes.

Q So when you heard those five or six shots, did you see any blood on Mike Brown that you could see?

A No.

Q Did you see him react in any way that might make you think that he was hit, like, you know, flinching or anything?

A It was more kind of a flinch, yes.

Q Okay.

A It was more of a flinch and, urn, with my thoughts of, I thought he was missing him because me thinking if you get shot, you are going to go down. With those multiple shots and he was still standing, that's the reason why I thought he was missing.

(Vol. 6, p.183; pdf p. 138).  So his claim that the officer missed was based on Brown’s non-reaction and perhaps the pollution of modern entertainment depictions of violence.  That is him mixing assumption with observation, but he is only doing that a little.

The next few pages are very hard to read because there are a lot of redactions.  But they get into how he felt uncomfortable telling his story immediately (he waited until the following Monday), because of how riled up the crowd was.  It is worth noting that he says he knew Brown’s stepfather, but wouldn’t describe them as friends.

He is asked to describe the charge, and he said it was like a “tackling motion.”  That is important because we all know that very often you bend your body pretty far forward in a tackle, at least in proper football.

One particularly maddening part was when they talk about his ethnicity, and racial slurs, but they cut out what ethnicity he is, or the slurs.  So it could be that he was Asian and being called “chink” or he was Hispanic and he was being called a wetback or white and being called a cracker, or even black and maybe an “uncle tom.”  The most intriguing and frustrating part was when a juror asked

Q [juror] Did you at any time, if I could ask, did you express the fact that you're [redacted]?

A No.

Q You did not?

A No, I just ignored it and kept walking because I didn't want it to just blow up to something even more because it is already tension in the air.

Mind you, all of this is legally irrelevant, but socially interesting, or at least intriguing and therefore frustrating because I can’t quite understand what is happening.  But it seems like he belongs to an ethnicity that would be seen as a counter to the slurs, but it’s not obvious.  And it seems he chose not to disclose it.

Another juror asked if, when Brown turned around for the charge, if Wilson’s life was potentially in danger, and Witness 10 said he was.  And that takes me to the end of his testimony.

Next they listened to the same interview that was contained in that witness 10 file, so we already went over that.

So that seems to wrap up Witness 10’s testimony, for the near future, and I guess I will share my thoughts on Witness 10.  I think he is a very strong defense witness—meaning on Wilson’s side, since this is Missouri v. Wilson.  And certainly there is nothing that undermined this person’s credibility.  But again, my views might evolve over time.

After that came another anonymous witness who doesn’t have a witness designation number, so I will call her:

Marketer: Mind you, unlike with the various detectives and medical examiners, her occupation isn’t relevant, but it’s nice to attach a name more specific than “anonymous unnumbered witness.”

Basically she worked for a marketing firm and was on her way to pick up an employee, and she came on the scene: “I didn't see anything at that time, but as I get closer coming around this curve on Canfield, I see the cop's SUV in the middle of the street and the kid wrestling through the window with the cop.”  (Vol. 6, p.237; pdf p. 192).  She goes on to explain what she saw at the window: “I saw the cop and the kid kind of like wrestling through the window, it was like a tug of war. The kid was kind of pulling out the, cop was pulling in, like it was like going back and forth.”  (Vol. 6, p.238; pdf p. 193).  What is interesting, there, is that this somewhat matches Johnson’s story.

Anyway, she wanted to get her camera to record this, and she heard a shot and tried to get out of the way, to the passenger seat:

So whenever the shot came out, it came from the car and I started turning this way, that's when I saw the kid like yank away like this and take off running. And I came around, parked right here, got out, came across the grass. The kid was running this way, the cop came behind him and was shooting. I saw the kid's body jerk and turn around like this with his hands up.

(Vol. 6, p.240; pdf p. 195). This somewhat matches Johnson’s story on this point, as well.  She also states she doesn’t know how many shots were fired, at all.  More from that pivotal moment (the questioning causes this entire presentation to be very divided in her narrative): “I saw his body jerk and stopped and turned around and put his hands up, and that's when the officer continued to walk and shoot until he went all the way down.”  (Vol. 6, p.243; pdf p. 197).  She goes on to say that Brown wasn’t charging, and felt there was not threat to the officer.  And incidentally she said she didn’t capture any of it on video, just afterward.

Later on she acknowledges she couldn’t see if either person was hitting anyone else.  She states that as Brown is running, Wilson fires “more than five or six shots.”  (Vol. 6, p.258; pdf p. 213).  So... seven or more?  And then she “guesstimates” four or five more shots after Brown turns around, but adds, “I don’t know.”  So that is exactly twelve rounds, if he fired four more shots.  She also notes that the employee she was there to pick up said she saw Brown die.  So we have to wonder if we are going to see her testify soon.  And she gave a statement to the police and made numerous statements in the media.  Which is tantalizing because it makes me wonder if it would be possible to figure out who she is, and compare prior statements.

That brings us to the end of her testimony and the end of that volume, making this as good as any place to stop.  And again, I will evaluate her as a witness.  She comes off well for the state, meaning the pro-prosecution side.  She comes off like as if she knows what she saw, and so on.  She frankly comes off about as well as Witness 10.  And certainly I am not seeing any specific problems with her story.  The only serious flaw is...  well, how easy is it to believe Wilson shot seven (or more) shots while Brown ran, and missed all of them or at most hit one?  The only thing that might explain it is the claim that he was running, too, but that is odd behavior.  I was always taught you don’t run and gun.

Of course, I don’t have one piece of information the Grand Jury has: the experience of actually watching the testimony.  But I saw nothing in the testimony that would prevents me from believing her.

What can I say?  It is a developing process, and I have no pre-determined destination.  Keep watching this blog as we discover where this is going, together.


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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