Piaget Crenshaw, who witnessed the August 9 fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown from her apartment overlooking the street where the police slaying took place, says the officer who shot Brown appeared “baffled and bewildered” and “in disbelief” as he stood over the fallen body of the 18-year-old.
The 19-year-old Crenshaw gave an interview to the CNN program New Day Monday morning during which the news network aired excerpts from a cell phone video taken by the witness beginning, she said, 30 seconds after the shooting.
In the video, the lifeless body of Brown is seen lying face down in the middle of the street as two officers, one of whom Crenshaw identified as Darren Wilson — the officer who has been named as the shooter — stand over the fallen teen. On the video, a clearly distraught Crenshaw is heard weeping and saying, “God bless his soul. Police shot this boy outside my apartment. They killed him.”
Crenshaw said that she did not make her video public until Monday, nine days after the shooting, out of fear for her own safety. She also said that she felt that the officer who shot Brown, and who can be seen in the video, should be publicly named before the video was widely seen.
Describing the images of Wilson in the video, Crenshaw says that the officer appeared to be trying to explain to a fellow officer what had just happened.
“It’s like he understands that he just shot this boy in the face, and this boy was unarmed,” Crenshaw described.
Crenshaw described seeing Wilson firing at Brown as the younger man ran away, but the bullets either missed Brown or grazed him. She said that Brown then turned around to face the officer and at that point, “is when he let off the most shots.”
Crenshaw says that she felt the need to record a cell phone video because she felt the whole scene looked wrong.
“I knew the police shouldn’t have been chasing this young boy and firing at the same time. The fact that he got shot in his face, it was like something clicked in me,” she said. “This isn’t right. I gotta record.”
A person claiming to be a friend of Officer Darren Wilson called a conservative talk show to claim the Brown “bum rushed” the officer, but Crenshaw described no such aggressive charge by Brown. The talk show caller did not claim to have personally witnessed the shooting, but instead, heard the account second-hand from Wilson’s “significant other.”
Piaget Crenshaw, on the other hand, witnessed the entire incident which began, she said, with Wilson attempting to physically pull Brown into his vehicle, an attempt which Brown resisted.