The following is my abridged edition of Dorian Johnson’s testimony to the Grand Jury. I think it’s important to read and as you go along, you’ll find my annotated commentary. Page 504 of 4799 page PDF starts Dorian Johnson’s testimony which took place at Justice Services in Clayton on 09/10/2014. It should be noted that at the beginning of the testimony Dorian and the assistant prosecutor discuss for the record that he is not under threat of prosecution for any type of minor criminal activity he admits to during his testimony. I understand why this was done, but it turns my stomach regardless. This first entry will be testimony related to everything prior to Darren Wilson arriving. The second entry I will post tomorrow will be all testimony once Darren Wilson arrives.
A: I met Big Mike, I recently had, well, not recently, but I just moved in those apartments, I had me and my girlfriend, my daughter. We were staying in the apartment, two bedroom apartment, I had a roommate. I just moved over there. I only been staying those apartments for about eight months. I met Big Mike around the fifth month that I was living there. I met him through a friend that I know form the area, neighborhood down the street where he lived.
A: So when he introduced Big Mike, they came to my apartment one day, they want to play video games, you know, relax and have conversation. And I didn’t have a problem with that. SO they came over, and when he came to my door, he was real quiet when he came in, you know, he was the biggest person in the room. SO it struck me as kind of strange, I don’t really be around people that I don’t know.
Q: When you met him. And on August the 9th at the time of the shooting, was he living in Northwinds?
A: No, at that time he had recently moved out of his grandmother’s house. He was staying with a friend that I knew in Canfield across the parking lot.
Q: Okay. All right. So when you first met him, he was living with his grandmother in Northwinds?
A: Correct, yes, ma’am.
Q: And so after you met him, so you have known him before the shooting probably a couple of months, two or three months?
A: Yes, maybe a month or two.
WS: I’m not going to speak to the parenting of Leslie McSpadden (Mike’s mother), Michael Brown Sr. (Mike’s father), or Mike’s Grandmother who was apparently assaulted by Leslie a month or so ago, but the fact that he is not living with any of them does seem to indicate that Mike was a bit of a handful for an eighteen year old.
Q: I guess it is fair to say you guys really didn’t hang out much, he was somebody that you was comfortable with?
A: Correct, that’s exactly.
A: August the 9th, it began like any other day. I start my morning, I wake up, I take a shower, and I ask my girl does she like breakfast, what should she like for breakfast. I head out to get it. Upon getting breakfast I get me some cigarillos. I smoke marijuana in my mornings when I start my day off, so I was going headed to the store.
Q: Now wait a minute, just stop here to now and then to make sure we are all clear. So that is kind of what generally happens for you in the morning?
A: In the morning, yes.
Q: On August the 9th, you got up, was it around seven something?
A: Around 7:00 that morning.
Q: 7:00. Did you smoke marijuana that morning?
A: I didn’t actually get a chance to smoke, I was going to get some Cigarillos because I didn’t have any, and there was a guy in the complex who sold them.
WS: The robbery is reported around 11:45AM. If he leaves the house at 7AM, that’s a lot of time to account for.
A: I saw him (Mike) at 7:00 in the morning, he was helping someone put some kids in the car, he was putting some kids in the car for his auntie, I believe it was.
WS: So Mike was with Dorian from around 7AM. We still don’t have an explanation for the almost 5 hours between his departure from the apartment and the robbery. However, it’s still early in the interview.
Q: So I stopped and spoke to him. He asked me where I was head to. I told him, I was going to get some rillos and get something to eat for me and my girl, I’m headed back to the house.
Q: And then what happened?
A: He stopped and talked to some construction workers. There was two construction workers that was doing work on the bottom floor at the time of his building. They was doing work on my building also, but they was doing work at his building and he had stopped and said something to them…. ….They was having a nice conversation, but it wasn’t that long for about one or two minutes.
WS: The conversation with the construction workers apparently happened around 11:00 AM. This conversation accounts for some of the missing time but four hours are still missing from the time Dorian made contact with Michael at 7:00AM.
Q: Had you all smoked, matched and smoked yet?
A: Not yet, No.
WS: So that doesn’t account for the time.
Q: Not yet?
Q: You said there was a person in the complex that actually sold the rillos?
Q: Is that where you were headed?
A: That’s where I was headed, yes.
Q: But that changed?
A: Yes, it changed.
Q: Tell us how?
A: It changed. We started talking, our conversation was about sports, he was into clothes and fashion, our conversation was drifting from topic to topic, but really based on sports, design, girls or what our future plans were.
WS: What we’re witnessing here is a situation I’ve seen (and many other officers I know have seen) when interviewing people when someone either doesn’t want to answer your question or is caught without an answer because it’s a fact connected to another lie. To compensate for being caught off guard the interviewee will simply start talking hoping to overload you with irrelevant data so you forget what you were trying to find out. It’s not lying per se, because they may have had this conversation, it just doesn’t remotely begin to answer the question.
A: It kind of took my mind off of going to the person in the complex because he didn’t know the guy that I was going to. Big Mike, he didn’t know the guy I was going to get the rillos from. When I told him I was going to get Cigarillos, he was like, I need one too. Let’s walk to the store. By that time the conversation was so deep that I forgot that there was a person there that I was going to, so we ended up just walking to the store.
WS: So the conversation took his mind off of his friend who sold Cigarillos in the complex and he forgot, but he also remembered the guy and didn’t go there because Big Mike didn’t know him? This is a minor contradiction but it’s not the only one that will come up. In my opinion, he’s playing games with the cigarillo salesman topic because he’s probably in actuality talking about his dealer which would explain the need to also go to Ferguson Market for rillos afterward.
Q: Any idea, I know timing is difficult, but if you started out at seven-ish in the morning, any idea how long, how much time went by before you got the market?
A: Before we got to the market, I mean, it wasn’t really an hour, it wasn’t that long, but our conversation because he had to go, I asked him could he go check on my friend that I knew REDACTED ask him if he wanted to walk to the store with us. He said, yeah, he went up to go check on him. He said yeah, he went up to go check on him. When he came back down, he told me that he was really sleepy, he didn’t feel like it, he wanted to sleep in that morning. So that’s basically what 30 minutes, I’m not real pressed on time, but it could have been more than an hour before we started walking.
WS: If the previous issue was a minor one, this is the first major problem. If Dorian leaves the house and makes contact with Mike at 7AM and it only takes them 30 minutes to an hour to arrive at Ferguson Market, that puts them at 7:30 to 8AM. Giving him the benefit of the doubt that he’s a little off, the robbery was reported around 11:45AM and that’s still a lot of time to account for. In other words, he’s either lying or he suffers from some type of mental condition where he doesn’t know what happened. It’s also possible that he’s just a completely unreliable witness.
Q: Did you go get anything to eat first or you went to the market first?
A: No, we went straight to the market.
WS: More conflicts with the timeline. It seems here that the assistant prosecutor is giving him an opportunity to account for the missing time. He doesn’t take the life preserver.
Inside Ferguson Market:
A: As he is talking to the male store clerk, the male store clerk ask him what does he want. Big Mike says in a very not, you know, threatening voice he just said, and while he was saying what he wanted, he said I want these box of Cigarillos. While we has saying it, he was leaning forward to grab them.
A: He leaned forward, but it wasn’t a snatch and grab motion like he did it really quickly. He did it like, like he did it before I should say. Once he reached over the counter the first time, the store clerk, he was standing right in front of him, he never did anything, he didn’t say anything, the first time, he didn’t smack his hand down or anything like that. That was the time that he pulled back and he handed the box, it was a box of mini Cigarillos, 69 cent Cigarillos. It was just a box of them. He turned and handed those to me.
WS: This part of the story is plausible. The clerk probably did nothing because he expected like a normal person that Mike was going to pay for them next.
A: It wasn’t until he went back the second time and grabbed a handful of the single Cigarillos. Now first he grabbed the box and the store clerk did nothing, this time he was going back to grab the single Cigarillos. As he was coming back, the store clerk did a late response and he swung at his hand, but he missed because he was so late, he smacked the counter.
Q: The store clerk did?
A: The store clerk did.
Q: This is behind the counter that this is occurring, the store clerk is behind the counter?
A: The store clerk is behind the counter, Big Mike never went behind the counter.
Q: I see.
A: He was standing in front of the register, I was standing right behind him, there was another male, he was inside the store. He had just purchased something. We were, the time where he snatched back and the store clerk missed, he kind of hit the top of some Cigarillos, which made some of them fall. And Big Mike turned to pick them up, and as he picked those up, he faced towards the door, that’s when I knew okay, something is not right here. I didn’t see, from where I was standing, I didn’t see money get transferred to the store clerk and that’s why I sat the box of Cigarillos back on the counter. I’ve been to the store lots of times.
Q: Did the store clerk say anything or did Big Mike say anything to the store clerk when the store clerk swatted at his hand?
A: At that time, no.
Q: Nobody said anything?
A: No one said, words were not exchanged at the time that I can hear.
WS: This seems supremely unlikely.
A: Now, while all of this is going on, Big Mike is making his way towards the door. The store clerk had came around, now he came around his register and he’s making his way to the door. He’s not like running or anything like that, more a pace walking and when he got to the front door, he didn’t get there yet because a man, like I said, there was another male customer in there at the time. He had just purchased something. As he’s leaving out, he’s kind of holding the door open like he’s watching, but he’s trying to get away at the same time, like he didn’t have nothing to do with it, but he is watching. I see him holding the door open. As he let the door close, Big Mike was almost at the door, so he was going to put his hand on the door to, you know, to push the door open.
By that time the store clerk had got around and he was almost in front of the door, he didn’t get there right directly in front of the door so much as put his hand on the door. Big Mike, Big Mike thrushed the door open to where the store clerk, it slipped out of his hand, so the door flew open. And at that time I was, I knew I saw what was going on, but I didn’t know it was going to happen that way. I so was trying to pull myself as far away from the initial contact with the store clerk as possible because I didn’t know what was going on.
WS: Hard to pull yourself away from a situation when you’re in a cramped corner store like Ferguson Market.
A: So at that time when he slung the door open, I was making my way, I was trying to get around Big Mike and the store clerk to exit the store because I didn’t want any part of it, I knew there was cameras in the store. When Big Mike tried to go out and thrush the door open and came out of the store clerk’s hand. The store clerk then tried to grab Big Mike and Big Mike kind of reverses the grab and grab, like it was a very fast motion, but the store clerk never came off of neither one of his feet. He never fell on the floor or got punched or anything like that, it was a very fast motion, just a shove.
Q: So when this grabbing is occurring, is Big Mike saying anything?
A: At the time all he said was, get back.
Q: Big Mike told him to get back?
A: Big Mike told the store clerk to get back.
Q: What about the store clerk, is he saying anything?
A: He didn’t say anything else, but the last time I heard the store clerk saying something, we were walking out of the store and I heard the store clerk say, I’m going to call the police.
WS: Dorian’s use of the phrase “the last time” he heard the store clerk say anything is interesting because according to his testimony thus far the store clerk hasn’t said anything. So at this point we can safely say that we have confirmation from Dorian that the two of them are in fact the individuals in the robbery video. So much for the “Justice for Michael Brown” claim that they either paid for the cigarillos or that the two individuals featured were not Dorian and Mike.
A: At that time eating and all of those other things that I had on my mind were left field. I had just witnessed something occur that I feel like if not, you know, I was there. So I walked in with him, I felt like I was an accomplice. I was trying to figure it out in my head at the time we were leaving out of the store like, all right, I didn’t know this was going to happen. I didn’t touch anything, but I did see what just happened and I know there was a crime.
WS: What we’re seeing here is another common occurrence in interviewing guilty parities. If I know you’ve committed a crime and I start asking questions, I know I’m on the right track when you start making minor admissions that are related to what we’re talking about but just short of a confession. For example, in this case, he’s not admitting out-right to being an accomplice and part of the robbery, using lots of mitigating speech, but he is admitting to being there. Even without the video, this puts him at the scene at the time the crime occurred and he admits to receiving stolen property directly even if he put it back, even if he wasn’t an accomplice to the robbery. I will grant that in this case he doesn’t have much of a choice but to admit to some involvement in the robbery due to the video.
A: Now we are walking down West Florissant, from Ferguson Market to Canfield is actually like, walking is like a four minute, five minute walk, especially when you are having a conversation talking, could be longer, could be shorter, but in that timeframe of walking to Canfield, I saw a police cruiser coming down, coming down West Florissant. It was a Ferguson cruiser, it was a truck. At that time in my head I was like, wow, he called the police. They came really quickly, I knew that they would probably come quickly. I was just, wow, we’re really going to get locked up, this is going to happen.
WS: This, my friends, is what we call motive. This is why Mike Brown probably assaulted Wilson, regardless of whether or not the shooting was ultimately justified. This is why the robbery video was always important to the shooting.
But when the police officer, you know they passed us, the first car never stopped at the Ferguson Market. The first car stopped at McDonald’s right next to the Ferguson Market and they kind of just sit on the lot. And that kind of struck me as odd. I was like, wow, maybe he didn’t call the police at that time. Maybe he didn’t call the police or they didn’t get the dispatch call or anything like that because they drove past us and at no point in time, the shorts that I had on, I had on pajama short, I didn’t have pockets on them.
I was not able to grab cigarillos out of Big Mike’s hand to put in my pocket, he had pockets. He did not put the Cigarillos in his pocket. The Cigarillos now he has them in both hands, now he is spreading them evenly apart and we are walking down plain sight West Florissant to Canfield.
WS: Why would Dorian grab the cigarillos at all if he wasn’t a part of the robbery? If this crime was all a surprise to him that he was wanting to stay separated from, why would he even think about grabbing the rillos at all? What’s more Dorian already said he didn’t have any pockets in his sweatpants.
Q: You are not like running or hiding?
A: Not running or not hiding, we are in plain sight walking down the sidewalk while we are on West Florissant and I see the police cruiser.
WS: Seeing as it takes approximately 4 to 5 minutes to walk back to Canfield Green according to Dorian, the robbery call came out around 11:53 (I think), and Darren Wilson didn’t make contact with them until around 12:02, it would seem that this is also unlikely since they weren’t even totally back to the apartment when they were stopped on Canfield.
A: And basically he was asking me questions on how did I transform to coming from where I was and getting on track and now I have my own apartment and stuff like that, I was just telling him a few things that I went through in my life that made me change and stuff like that.
WS: I’ve largely cut stuff like this out from my abridged edition of his testimony. More than once Dorian brags about how he’s a role model for the other youths in the complex including Mike. Given what we know about Dorian, his lies, his thefts, his warrants, his dropping out of school, the fact that he’s only 22 and has a baby at home while he runs around on the street for the whole day with Mike Brown, this speech just goes to either show how warped he is that he narcissistically thinks he has it together, or he’s just a liar and he doesn’t even believe what he’s telling the grand jury. I will say that these role model lines do seem coached and may not have come from Dorian’s mind.
A: At that time he asked, at that time there was no cars, no traffic, no one was coming up or down Canfield Drive. We got in the middle of the street, got into the middle of the street. we’re walking in the middle, I’m in front of Big Mike and he’s right behind me. He’s real big so I know people can see him right above me. So we are walking on the street. At that time we are walking like 30 seconds, I’m not really on the time preference, about 30 seconds and traffic started going, but no one blew their horns, no one made irregular turns to get around us like we were in the way and no one yelled out their windows, you guys are in the way, get out of the street, anything like that. Two or three cars had passed us.
Q: Let me ask you a question. Where were you guys headed at this point?
A: At this point we was headed back to my house or his house because where we were staying, like I said, we were staying directly apart from each other, but on opposite side of the streets. I lived on this side, my building was on this side and the building he was staying in at that time was on the other side of the street.
WS: This also seems to contradict Dorian’s earlier assertion that he was taken aback by the robbery. Why wouldn’t they be going their separate ways if Dorian was so appalled by what happened at Ferguson Market?
Stay tuned for Part II