Almost a full week after Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Mo., the Ferguson Police Department released the name of the police officer who fired the fatal shots at the 18-year-old on August 9. We learned that Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the department, was the shooter, but little else about the officer or the events that took place during the shooting.
The Ferguson Police Department was significantly more forthcoming about another event of that day, Brown’s alleged theft of a box of Swisher Sweet cigarillos from a nearby convenience store. Of the 19-page report, 16 pages, including video stills, were devoted to the details of that alleged petty crime. Police say that Wilson confronted Brown after identifying him as the primary suspect in the robbery. With the Ferguson Police Department remaining tight lipped about the actual shooting, we are left with many questions.
So if Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson were suspects in a robbery, why haven’t the police questioned Johnson yet?
In their initial 16-page report, the Ferguson Police Department named Dorian Johnson as an accomplice to the robbery, which raised plenty of eyebrows given that Chris Hayes interviewed Dorian Johnson, while Ferguson PD still hasn’t. In addition, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson stated this morning that Officer Wilson left “a sick call” after “dispatch gave a description of a robbery suspect over the radio.” This would lead most reasonable listeners to believe that the Officer encountered Brown thinking that he was a suspect in a robbery.
The chief changed his tune this afternoon, stating that he didn’t believe Johnson to be involved in the alleged robbery, and that the robbery and the shooting were “unrelated.” Besides the fact that Ferguson PD apparently thinks that the case of the stolen cigarillos is a big deal, there is still the small matter of Wilson being a key witness to Brown’s fatal shooting. They still have not brought him in for questioning on either matter.
Well, have the police at questioned the employees of the store that Brown allegedly stole the cigarillos from? What about other customers or witnesses?
The officer who wrote the 16-page report apparently interviewed some witnesses on-site, shortly after the alleged robbery took place.
Anonymous released some not yet authenticated audio from what they purport to be emergency dispatch. Were any men fitting the description of Brown or Wilson mentioned as robbery suspects prior to the shooting?
No. Even if the audio does not turn out to be authentic, we found it curious t that several eyewitness accounts, including that of Dorian Johnson, state that the officer in question told the two young men to get out of the street, but didn’t mention anything about a robbery or attempt to make an arrest. Wouldn’t strong arm robbery be a priority over jaywalking?
Our curiosity was later validated when Chief Jackson declared the alleged robbery and Brown’s shooting unrelated, contrary to initial reports that Officer Wilson was investigating Brown and Johnson as potential suspects. Officer Wilson had no idea Brown was a suspect in an alleged robbery, and ultimately engaged the young man over an alleged jaywalking offense.
What about an incident report? I watch a lot of movies, and cops are always talking about filling out paperwork.
Chief Jackson claims to not have the report. “I don’t have it in my possession,” Jackson said this afternoon. “Everything belongs to the county.” Six days in, the Ferguson Police Department still has not released the incident report of the officer who actually killed Michael Brown, only an incident report written by the officer who responded to the robbery, and later to the scene of the shooting after Brown had already been killed.
So what do we know now about the shooting of Michael Brown that we didn’t know yesterday?