Probable cause for murder in Ferguson

michaelbrowngunshotsDorian Johnson was on Canfield Street in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9 when Officer Darren Wilson stopped Dorian and Mike Brown walking in the middle of the street.

Dorian testified under oath before the grand jury on September 10, 2014.  Dorian’s statement was sufficient probable cause for a judge, magistrate or the grand jury to vote a true bill for a homicide by Officer Wilson.

Probable cause is the standard that governs a grand jury proceeding.

Dorian’s testimony was corroborated by witnesses, physical evidence and autopsy reports.  Yet, Officer Wilson was exonerated and the killing found “justified.”

Johnson swore under oath that Officer Wilson “got right directly on the side of us …” and said, “Get the F ___ on the sidewalk” (p. 45)(G. Jury Transcript, pg, 9/10/14).

Johnson said we “continued to walk … but almost a split second [later] we heard the tires screech, and the Officer [Wilson], he pulled back in the truck [SUV] very fast to the point at an angle – if we didn’t hear his tires screech, the back of his cruiser would have struck one of us … (p. 47)” and “it was very aggressive” (p. 74).  Officer Wilson’s “door was thrust open … real hard,” said Johnson, and “it hit” Mike Brown (p. 49).

Wilson’s “arm came out the window [and] … grabbed ahold of [Brown’s] shirt around the neck area” (p. 49).  Brown was “trying to pull off the officer’s grip” (p. 51).  Johnson said, “the officer [was] trying to pull him inside the vehicle through the window … but [Brown was] pulling away” (p. 53).  Johnson said he heard their “cuss words” and “it [was] escalating” (p. 54).  Wilson then threatened, “I’ll shoot.” (p. 100).

Brown’s “left hand was still … above the side mirror … the officer’s grip come up from … his neck, to the shirt collar, to the shoulder, to basically he never let go” (p. 101).  Wilson started to say once more he’d shoot and “the gun went off” (p. 106).

“That’s when I turn and run,” Johnson said, “[Mike] was right behind me” (p. 116).  Brown told Johnson to keep running.  Wilson walks past Johnson “kind of fast walking … he has his weapon drawn … he’s not saying ‘freeze,’ he’s not saying anything” (p. 118).

“The officer’s back is towards me … Mike’s back is towards me and the officer because he is running away” (p. 119).  Officer Wilson shot at Brown, Johnson said, “I don’t know if it hit” (p. 119).  Brown “jerked and just stopped in his track, I sense that he was hit again” (p. 120).

“He just kind of stopped and turned around at the officer … but not so close” (p. 120).  Mike was on the opposite side of the street from Wilson (p. 124-125).

Brown’s “hand was up but not as much up in the air because he had been struck already.” (p. 121).  Brown said, “I don’t’ have a gun” (p. 123).  Mike’s body “just kind of collapsed down and he just fell” (p. 124-125).

“Shots [were] definitely fired while he was going down.  The last shot [Wilson] fired [Brown] was so close to the ground, it looked like to me he was already on the ground.  His knees were, he was going down, he was already down before the last shot came” (p. 125).  Johnson said, “I just seen him gun down and kill someone I was just walking with.”(p. 126).

This matter should have been decided at a public jury trial – not behind closed doors in a DA’s office.

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