NYT: What Happened in Ferguson?

Originally posted at The New York Times.

The Justice Department on Wednesday cleared a Ferguson, MO police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Aug. 9. Here is the sequence of events as described in the Justice Department report.

Officer Wilson Approaches

Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson walked down the middle of Canfield Drive, and Officer Darren Wilson arrived in his police vehicle. Speaking through his window, he told them to move to the sidewalk. He saw that Mr. Brown fit the description of a suspect in a convenience store theft, and he made a call to the dispatcher about the men. He positioned his sport utility vehicle to block them, and also blocked traffic.



There was an altercation between Officer Wilson and Mr. Brown, who was standing at the driver’s window. In testimony supported by physical and forensic evidence, Mr. Wilson and some witnesses said that Mr. Brown reached into the vehicle, and punched and grabbed the officer. The two men struggled over Mr. Wilson’s gun. Autopsy results and other evidence confirmed that a shot grazed Mr. Brown in the right hand at close range.


Brown Flees

Mr. Brown ran east, and Mr. Wilson pursued on foot. Investigators said there was no evidence that Mr. Wilson shot Mr. Brown while he was running away. An autopsy did not find gunshot entrance wounds on Mr. Brown’s back, and there was not sufficient evidence to say what position Mr. Brown was in when he sustained two gunshot wounds to his right arm.


Fatal Shots

After running at least 180 feet from the S.U.V., Mr. Brown stopped and turned toward Officer Wilson, who also stopped. Mr. Brown moved toward Officer Wilson, who fired several more shots. Officer Wilson was between eight and ten feet away from Mr. Brown when he fired the last of the shots. Investigators said that credible witnesses gave varying accounts of Mr. Brown’s speed as well as the position of his hands while moving toward the officer, but that accounts stating that Mr. Brown was surrendering were not credible. Mr. Brown was fatally wounded by a gunshot to the head and fell about 22 feet from where his blood was found on the street. That evidence was used to discredit accounts that Mr. Brown never moved back toward the officer after running away.


Note: While Mr. Johnson was with Mr. Brown for much of the events depicted above, the Justice Department’s report did not provide enough detail to position him in every step, so he is not shown.

Read more at The New York Times.


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  • Bethani says:

    March 6, 2015 at 11:39 AM

    This is a stark reminder that progressives will do whatever it takes to push their liberal agenda. The “anti-govt” protestors are NOW our current gov’t. They never got their “race war” as quoted by a female senator at the height of racial tensions in Ferguson. If they can spark a race war, they can declare martial law. This would suspend our constitution and they can do whatever they want! Don’t be sucked into their game. They hate, then we hate, and they hate more….. it breeds animosity and division. Love your neighbor. Return love and charity, not hate. We must become examples. Pray for softening of hearts of those who fan the flames of racism.

    • Deborah says:

      March 7, 2015 at 7:18 AM


  • Bill B says:

    March 6, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    Obama has been the match to the Black powder keg of hate. He has surrounded himself with race baiting people and is succeeding in splitting this nation. Together we stand, divided we fall.