Michael Brown, fatally shot by Ferguson, Missouri, cop Darren Wilson on August 9, had his hands up when he was shot, as witnesses originally claimed. The account comes from recently revealed eyewitness testimony from witnesses who neither knew Brown or resided in the area.
The witnesses, two construction workers who were working in the neighborhood where Brown was shot by Wilson on that day, gave their statements to St. Louis County police, as well as the FBI.
On Sunday, one of the men — who is white — spoke to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper, on the condition the paper withhold his name and the name of his employer.
Though by some accounts, Brown and Wilson had a physical altercation at Wilson’s patrol car, this witness said that he did not see what happened at the car. He and his co-worker looked up after hearing the first gunshot, and then saw everything that happened next.
According to the Post-Dispatch report, “His account largely matches those who reported that Wilson chased Brown on foot away from the car after the initial gunshot and fired at least one more shot in the direction of Brown as he was fleeing; that Brown stopped, turned around and put his hands up; and that the officer killed Brown in a barrage of gunfire.”
The witness said that he saw Brown running from the police officer who chased him and fired at him, from behind. Brown then stumbled as if wounded, the worker said, and turned around with his hands up, repeating the phrase “okay, okay” again and again.
At that point, Michael Brown began “kind of walking back toward the cop,” with his hands still up. The officer then fired repeatedly. Brown’s hands fell to his sides after the third shot, the witness said, but he continued to move forward.
The witness who was about 50 feet away said he could not determine if Brown was acting aggressively, despite being shot, or if he was stumbling forward, out of control due to his severe wounds.
Because the worker does not know either Michael Brown or Darren Wilson, and other than working on a building there that day, has no connections to the city of Ferguson, his account could be treated with a higher level of credibility than those of witnesses who were friends with Brown, or who lived in the area.
On Tuesday, Brown’s family and community activists again called for the arrest of Darren Wilson, who has remained out of public view since he shot Michael Brown. The renewed calls came because of what are now six separate witness accounts saying that Brown had his hands up when Wilson shot him.
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