It’s now commonly known that former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson testified that he feared for his life at the moment he shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in August. In other words, he claimed self-defense under Missouri’s “reasonable belief” law, similar to Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” legislation. Now, according to the Washington Post, the testimony of a grand jury witness has surfaced, making it clear they believed Wilson’s life was in danger and he had no other reason but to fire the fatal shots that killed Mike Brown.
The newspaper obtained transcripts from the grand jury proceedings into the Brown shooting. Information contained within the volumes of documents show that Darren Wilson centered his testimony on one facet of evidence: his reasonable belief, based on a simple standard that was in play at the time of the shooting. The state claims that a person has the right to use deadly force in such cases, and it doesn’t have to involve other variables.
Neutral Witness No. 10 agrees with Wilson’s reason for firing the fatal shots. Apparently, he observed the entire deadly encounter unfold, and in his mind, the shooting was justified. The document reveals how the witness, who was working on Canfield Drive at the time, recalls seeing Brown and Dorian Johnson walk by moments before Wilson drove up in his police cruiser. He says he had a direct sight to the events as they unfolded.
“I just see Mr. Brown inside the police officer’s window. It appeared as [though] some sort of confrontation was taking place…. [T]hat took place for seconds, I’m not sure how long…. And one shot, the first shot was let loose and after the first shot, Mike Brown came out of the window and took off running. So my initial thought was that wow, did I just witness this young guy kill a police officer (grand jury testimony, Vol. 6, page 165, line 23, hereafter cited by just page and line number).”
The witness recounts seeing Brown’s upper body inside the vehicle, but from his angle, it was not possible to see what was going on. However, he said it was “out of the norm” to see a person leaning inside the passenger compartment of a cruiser. When a shot rang out, the witness remembers seeing Brown and Johnson fleeing on foot up the city street.
“He [Mike Brown] stopped. He did turn, he did some sort of body gesture, I’m not sure what it was, but I know it was a body gesture. And I could say for sure he never put his hands up after he did his body gesture, he ran towards the officer full charge.The officer fired several shots at him and to give an estimate, I would say roughly around five to six shots was fired at Mike Brown. Mike Brown was still coming towards the office and at this point I’m thinking, wow, is this officer missing Mike Brown at this close of a range. Mike Brown continuously came forward in the charging motion and at some point, at one point he started to slow down and he came to a stop. And when he stopped, that’s when the officer ceased fire and when he ceased fired, Mike Brown started to charge once more at him. When he charged once more, the officer returned fire with, I would say, give an estimate of three to four shots. And that’s when Mike Brown finally collapsed…. (166:21-167:18).”
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani appeared on Fox News over the weekend. When faced with the question about the federal ongoing investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown, Giuliani said the case is marred with racial overtones. He pointed to grand jury testimony from seven witnesses who support Darren Wilson’s version. In Giuliani’s belief, minus the national attention and claims from civil rights activists, a police shooting of this type would have never gone before a grand jury — and shouldn’t have.
A Missouri Appellate court approves the jury instruction in cases of reported self-defense.
“In order for a person lawfully to use force in self-defense, he must reasonably believe he is in imminent danger of harm from the other person. He need not be in actual danger but he must have a reasonable belief that he is in such danger…. But a person is not permitted to use deadly force, that is, force that he knows will create a substantial risk of causing death or serious physical injury, unless he reasonably believes he is in imminent danger of death or serious physical injury. And, even then, a person may use deadly force only if he reasonably believes the use of such force is necessary to protect himself.”
Many say the law, similar to the one in Florida, is vague and creates an out for someone who simply wants to harm or kill another. The burden of proof then shifts to the victim.
Sources point out that the Ferguson grand jury witness is credible on several fronts: he provided sworn testimony to police just two days after the shooting, before the media’s coverage gained momentum and before Mike Brown’s autopsy results were released. The witness acknowledges problems within the police department, but insists his reason for testifying is to give the family closure, that there son was not gunned down maliciously.
Darren Wilson resigned days ago from his job as a cop with the Ferguson Police Department, according to an Inquisitr report. Wilson released a statement which said his resignation in wake of the Michael Brown shooting and grand jury decision was for the greater good of the community. Wilson, who won’t be receiving a severance package, per the city’s mayor, said he hopes his departure allows the St. Louis County community to heal. It’s unknown what his future holds, but many believe his career in law enforcement is over.
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