To those who have started to read either one of the recently released DOJ Ferguson documents or have seen excerpts posted online, there is a distinct difference in the way the Wilson report is written when compared to the Ferguson PD report. I believe I’ve discovered the reason for the tonal discrepancy. While the DOJ’s name (but no one specifically) is on the Darren Wilson Report, the report itself is largely comprised of witness statement summaries and their credibility as determined by the FBI and Federal Prosecutors who were conducting these interviews. After reading the entire document, it is my opinion that this document was more likely than not, written by the FBI and not the members of the DOJ who wrote the report on the police department.
As I went through the summaries it became more and more clear that whomever was writing the summaries wasn’t just summarizing data. Whomever wrote the Darren Wilson report participated in many of these interviews first hand as evidenced by the fact that the writer apparently became annoyed with some of the witnesses. On at least one occasion, the ghost writer slipped up and made reference to how a witness couldn’t stop lying, when a more objective tone had dominated up to that point with more diplomatic speech such as the use of “inconsistencies” in place of “lies.”
Furthermore, there are clear differences between interview strategy of both groups. The FBI scheduled repeated interviews with witnesses, following up even if they left town, and confronting people when they made materially inaccurate statements. The DOJ on the other hand appeared to simply open the floor allowing for anyone to make whatever allegations they wanted with little to no follow up or corroboration. However, I need to digress, because an entire other entry will be necessary in order to fully delve into the Police Department report. To be sure, there are some portions that are being widely disseminated that are completely indefensible and the city of Ferguson will need to answer for those. Incidentally, there are some portions of it that are defensible too.
However, in the midst of releasing both reports together, a very important set of stories was lost to the big bad racist police story that the media wanted from the moment Mike Brown died. The stories I’m referring to paint a picture of a climate of fear in the community, not of the police, but of the neighborhood. The stories I’m referring to paint a picture of a conspiracy within Canfield Green apartments to promote witnesses the conspirators knew were lying, and threaten anyone who might dare to contradict the official narrative. All that mattered was that Darren Wilson was found guilty. All that mattered was that the official Canfield narrative, that Mike Brown was executed while surrendering with his hands in the air, was preserved.
Consider the following:
- Eight (8) witnesses verified Wilson’s account and were deemed credible by the FBI
- Zero (0) witnesses who verified the “Hands up” account were deemed credible by the FBI
- Seven (7) witnesses articulated a fear of reprisal from the community.
- One (1) witness barricaded her door with a couch after being asked to testify following recanting the official Canfield narrative.
- One (1) witness started receiving threatening phone calls (plural) in an effort to scare her into maintaining the official Canfield narrative.
- One (1) witness indicated that there were signs around Canfield after Mike Brown died stating that “snitches get stitches.” This may be in reference to QuikTrip as it was tagged with that phrase during the arson.
- Others indicated more vague fear through their actions by coming forward after the fact, refusing to meet at their homes, or recanting with vague explanations about the community.
- More than one witness fled town and had to be located in other states after giving an initial witness statement.
As an aside, Witness 101 is Dorian Johnson which is obvious to anyone who reads the document.
The Untold Stories
“27-year-old bi-racial male.”
“Witness 102 did not stay on Canfield Drive long after the shooting, but rather started to leave the area after about five minutes because he felt uncomfortable. According to Witness 102, crowds of people had begun to gather, wrongly claiming the police shot Brown for no reason and that he had his hands up in surrender. Two black women approached Witness 102, mobile phones set to record, asking him to recount what he had witnessed. Witness 102 responded that they would not like what he had to say. The women responded with racial slurs, calling him names like “white motherfucker.”
“58-year-old black male.”
“First, Witness 103 was reluctant to meet with SLCPD detectives, FBI agents, and federal prosecutors because he has no particular allegiance to law enforcement. Witness 103 is a convicted felon who served time in federal prison, and has a son who was shot and injured by law enforcement during the commission of a robbery. Witness 103 expressed concerned because there were signs in the neighborhood of Canfield Drive stating, “snitches get stitches.” Therefore, he agreed to be interviewed only on the condition of confidentiality.”
“50-year-old black female.”
“When Witness 105 contacted SLCPD detectives, she was reluctant to identify herself and ultimately met with them in a library parking lot. She explained that she was coming forward because in speaking with her neighbors, she realized that what they believed had happened was inconsistent with what actually happened.”
“74-year-old black male”
“…claimed to have witnessed the shooting, stated that it was justified, but repeatedly refused to give formal statements to law enforcement for fear of reprisal should the Canfield Drive neighborhood find out that his account corroborated Wilson.”
“Both state and federal investigators later attempted to locate and interview Witness 108, who repeatedly expressed fear in coming forward.”
“Witness 108 refused to provide additional details to either county or federal authorities, citing community sentiment to support a “hands up” surrender narrative as his reason to remain silent. He explained that he would rather go to jail than testify before the county grand jury.”
“53-year-old black male.”
“Like Witness 108, Witness 109 claimed to have witnessed the shooting, stated that it justified, and repeatedly refused to give formal statements to law enforcement for fear of reprisal should the Canfield Drive neighborhood find out that his account corroborated Wilson.”
He was served a subpoena and refused to appear for Grand Jury.
“31-year-old black female.”
“She was interviewed by FBI agents during their canvass on August 16th 2014, and gave an account that generally corroborated Wilson, but only after she was confronted with untruthful statements she initially made in an effort avoid neighborhood backlash. When local authorities tried to serve Witness 113 with a subpoena to testify before the county grand jury, she blockaded her door with a couch to avoid service.”
“When the FBI told Witness 113 that the autopsy results and other evidence were inconsistent with her account, she admitted that she lied. She explained to the FBI that, “you’ve gotta live the life to know it,” and stated that she feared offering an account contrary to the narrative reported by the media that Brown held his hands up in surrender.”
“51-year-old black male.”
Witness 110 is married to Witness 111.
“SLCPD detectives responded to the venue of a social function to interview Witness 110 and Witness 111, but they were reluctant to speak to law enforcement, fearing retaliation from people in the community.”
“32-year-old black male.”
“Witness 115 described the crowds that began to form immediately after the shooting, as people began to gather and talk about what happened. Witness 115 explained that although he initially spoke to SLCPD detectives only four hours after the incident, by then, he had already discussed the incident with Witness 124 and with a passerby on the street. He explained that this passerby can be heard on Witness 115’s cell phone video, attempting to correct Witness 115, as Witness 115 narrated that Brown had been punching Wilson.”
“33-year-old black female”
Witness 133 stated to investigators that she did not see Mike Brown’s hands up. When testifying in front of the grand jury she said she saw hands up.
“Witness 133 never offered an explanation as to why she did not previously disclose that Brown’s hands were up. Witness 133 also acknowledged that she had been watching the news and “hands up” had become the “mantra” of the protesters.”
“23-year-old black female.”
“When Witness 125 appeared at the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office to testify before the county grand jury, she was accompanied by an attorney. Prior to her testimony, Witness 125 told the county prosecutors that she lied to the FBI and to SLCPD detectives. Witness 125 was then given immunity from federal prosecution for making material false statements to federal agents so long as she testified truthfully in the grand jury.”
“She claimed that a friend in the community told her to tell the SLCPD and the FBI what her boyfriend saw, but to claim it as her own.”
“20-year old black female.”
“Witness 135 explained to federal prosecutors that Brown’s friend ran off as soon as the first shot was fired and she never saw him again. However, she described a similarly built black male with dreadlocks who was later running around the Canfield apartments, saying something to the effect of, “The police shot my friend and his hands were up.” Witness 135 explained that quickly became the narrative on the street, and to her frustration, people used it both as excuse to riot and to create a “bloc party” atmosphere.”
“40-year-old black male.”
“After the shooting, Witness 137 learned that Brown was his nephew’s friend.”
“Contrary to his previous statement, Witness 137 denied that the officer shot Brown from less than an arm’s length away, denied that he saw the officer shot Brown execution-style; denied that the officer shot Brown when he was on the ground; denied that the officer “finished him off;” and denied that Brown’s last words while on his knees were “Don’t shoot.” Witness 137 explained that he initially told the FBI that the officer stood over Brown and shot him execution-style while on his knees because he “assumed” that to be true. Witness 137 based his assumptions on the sound of the bullets and “common sense” from living in the community, despite claiming to have a “clear visual” of events.”
“23-year-old black male.”
“Witness 128 also admitted that he spoke to Brown’s mother on the day of the shooting and shared details of the shooting. Witness 128 told Brown’s mother that Wilson shot Brown at point blank range while his hands were up, and that even after Brown fell to his death, Wilson stood over Brown and fired several more times. Witness 128 also told several neighbors his inaccurate version of what happened, as they were gathering in the minutes and hours after the shooting. Several individuals identified Witness 128 through description as someone who was going around spreading a narrative that Brown was shot with his hands up in surrender.”
“Witness 128 has been convicted of multiple felonies including crimes of dishonesty…”
“45-year-old white female.”
Witness 140 also articulated fear of reprisal, but this is the racist liar whom the media and the Ferguson Twitter Brigade seized on as evidence of Bob McCulloch’s supposed mishandling of the Grand Jury. Notice how they didn’t have a problem with the rest of the people who admitted lying. I did not count her in my total of witnesses threatened at the beginning.
“50-year-old black female.”
“Witness 139 reluctantly came to the NAACP office in St. Louis to meet with SLCPD detectives, FBI agents, and federal prosecutors. Through hysterical tears, she expressed fear in speaking with law enforcement because she felt pressured by the community to make a statement about what she had purportedly witnessed. She explained that ever since she gave a media interview, people have been anonymously calling her. Witness 139 explained that these calls made her feel threatened, though she could not articulate how or why she felt threatened.”
“19-year-old black male”
“Witness 120 explained that although he did not see the shots, common sense dictates that those eight shots struck Brown. He also explained that he based most of his recanted account on what people “in the community told [him].”
“26-year-old black female” from Chicago
“Witness 148 described Wilson as “possessed” based on the “look in his eyes,” as though “he wasn’t human.”
This comment doesn’t speak to the conspiracy in Canfield but it is supremely ironic given how many members of the Ferguson Twitter Brigade claim that Wilson saying that Brown looked like a “demon” was racist and indicative of how all Ferguson Police see black people.
“When prosecutors and agents pressed Witness 148 as to why it took her nearly seven months to come forward and report what she witnessed, she explained that she feared the FPD. She maintained that she did not tell anyone – “Not one living soul” – about what she witnessed on August 9, 2014. Witness 148 stated however, that she was not going to live in fear and therefore went to Ferguson every day since the shooting until the day of the county grand jury’s decision on November 24, 2014. She protested and marched, but never shared with anyone what she witnessed, including her god-daughter who started a “Michael Brown movement.” However, Witness 148 met a close friend of the Brown family after a Martin Luther King Day protest. Several weeks after that, she told the friend what she had witnessed and ultimately met with Brown’s mother.”
Is this person potentially a protester we know? Isn’t NETTA from Chicago and around this age?
I am supremely curious if any of the witnesses were DeAndrea Joshua who was murdered on the night of the Grand Jury Decision and his body stuffed into a burning car in the middle of Canfield Green. A number of witnesses from this report did not testify in front of the Grand Jury including many of those who corroborated Wilson’s story. There is an entry now on Snopes that states that DeAndrea wasn’t a Grand Jury witness per the Prosecutor’s office, but it largely doesn’t matter if:
A.) He still spoke to the authorities and was considered a witness by the FBI.
B.) The members of the community thought that he was a witness or snitch even if he wasn’t.