New Michael Brown details just one piece of probe, law enforcement official says

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Blood from Michael Brown that was found on the uniform and in the police car of Officer Darren Wilson appears to back the officer’s version of events, but still leaves questions unanswered, law enforcement sources told CNN.

Those sources corroborated to CNN details first reported by The New York Times about the officer’s version of events in Wilson’s shooting of the unarmed teen on August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

Brown’s blood was found on Wilson’s gun, on the squad car’s interior and on the officer’s uniform, according to a U.S. law enforcement official and a second source with knowledge of the forensics presented to the grand jury.

The source corroborated what the Times reported.

At least one of the wounds Brown suffered is consistent with a struggle and appeared to be fired at close range, according to a different source with first-hand knowledge of the investigation.

This finding could lend credibility to Wilson’s account that he was fearful for his life after a struggle with Brown in the police car.

However, it is not necessarily a “Eureka moment,” the U.S. law enforcement official told CNN, adding it is just one data point in a larger investigation.

The revelations do not answer the question of whether the officer intended to deprive Brown of his civil rights when he stepped out of the car and fired the fatal shot, the first law enforcement official said.

According to the Times, the officer told authorities that Brown hit him and scratched him repeatedly, leaving bruises on his face and neck.

FBI forensic tests showed the gun was fired twice in the car, with one bullet hitting Brown’s arm while the second one missed, the newspaper said.

The attorney for the family of the slain teen called again Monday for an indictment of Wilson.

Attorney Daryl Parks said the new details shouldn’t preclude Wilson’s prosecution for the teen’s death.

“If nothing else, you have two competing stories here,” he said in an appearance on CNN’s “New Day.”

He said leaks about the case are making people “weary about the process” and that only an open trial where all the facts are presented will help resolve lingering tensions over the shooting.

Brown’s death is the subject of two inquires: one by a St. Louis County grand jury considering whether the 28-year-old officer should be charged, and the other by federal investigators looking into whether any civil rights violations occurred.

‘Helpful testimony’

CNN legal analyst Paul Callan said the new account appears to be “strong evidence” favoring the officer, but “the real focus on the case will shift to what happened outside of the car when Michael Brown ran away, according to many witnesses,” Callan said.

“I think the focus will shift on the officer,” Callan said. “He is not out of the woods yet, even though this is helpful testimony for him.”

But one critic of the government’s response to Brown’s shooting reacted angrily to the report.

Angela Whitman, a Ferguson resident who was among activists meeting with U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in August, found the newspaper account of Wilson’s testimony “so hard to believe.”

She said the report addressed only the initial encounter and not the subsequent fatal shooting, when some witnesses said Brown was surrendering with his hands up. But police said Wilson shot Brown after the teen attacked him and tried to take his gun.

“If (Michael Brown) struggled with this officer, this still does not justify why this child is not alive,” Whitman said. “If this young man did this, and struggled, that means he got free. And then witnesses said he turned around with his hands up. This kid should still be alive.”

In an interview with CNN on Monday, Holder sought to manage expectations of activists in Ferguson, acknowledging the high standard investigators must meet, and the possibility there may not be any charges against Wilson.

No particular outcome was promised, aside from a fair investigation and reform of the local police department, Holder noted.

His promise to the people of Ferguson, Holder said, is to carry out an independent investigation, and a closer look at the police department itself.

“We have a ‘pattern of practice’ investigation going into the police department. So I think that we’re doing all that we can with regard to the promises that I’ve made,” Holder said.

Witnesses’ version a stark contrast

Most of the accounts of Brown’s shooting have focused on what happened outside the car — on the street — with conflicting narratives.

Dorian Johnson, 22, who was walking with Brown on the street when the shooting occurred, told CNN that the officer pulled up and told them to get on a sidewalk. They told him they were almost home and would be off the street shortly.

The officer drove forward, but stopped and backed up, almost hitting the pair, Johnson said.

“We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike’s body and closed back on the officer,” he said.

Still in his car, the officer grabbed Brown by his neck, but he tried to pull away as the officer pulled him toward him, Johnson said.

The officer drew his weapon and fired, hitting Brown, Johnson said. A bloodied Brown took off running, but the officer followed him and fired, according to Johnson.

Brown turned around with his hands up and told the officer he was unarmed, but the officer fired and the teen hit the ground, Johnson said.

Another witness, Tiffany Mitchell, has said she saw Wilson and Brown “tussling through the window” of the police cruiser.

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    • jznzfs

      Let the grand jury do its job. When the evidence is presented and the witness testimonies scrutinized then, form an opinion. I’m not sure either the victim or the policeman will provide a viable the poster child.

  • LOIS slater

    Sometimes it seems as though the wicked people in the world get all the breaks and can not be stopped from doing things . But don’t worry the lord set high and look low, in dew times He will judgment !!!

  • Dick Durbin

    Only three people really know what happened, one is Mr. Brown, another is Officer Wilson and the third is just as shady as all of those who say they witnessed what happened, but none of the stories match. At the very least, Officer Wilson did not need to unload 6 shoots into the thug. One tazer shot should have been enough to get Mr. Brown under control to arrest him. A lesson to all, if an officer asks you to stop and approach their vehicle, don’t run away. Answer the questions and most likely you will be on your way. You act guilty of something and most normal people are going to this that you are guilty of something.

    • Jamaal Jackson

      Mr durbin let us not forget this is someone child your calling a thug. Michael brown may have made a mistake or two but he still does not deserve to died like a dog in street. If this was your son gun down by someone how would u feel let’s forget bout color here. it not cool for anyone to b gun down by law enforcement weather white or black but it seem OK to whites that a teen lost its life.

    • steph

      For the most part I agree. IF… what has been reported by some, that Mr. Brown kept advancing after being shot I wonder if a tazer would have stopped him AND IF he had a tazer it is my understanding Mr. Brown would have to be closer for it to work AND he has to make sure both prongs penetrate in order to work. Given the intensity of the struggle it is really hard to say what should of happened. But your right, just comply and if your all good, you’ll been on your way in no time. Where is Dorian Johnson anyway??!!!!!! MIA

  • Jamaal Jackson

    That doesn’t make sense if your being shot at your not advancing towards the person if anything your backing up . Even with that said how does he explain the extra shots and mr brown running away . Let’s keep it real officer Dorian Wilson had no reason to fear for his life when a man is running away from u if that the case he’s in the wrong line of work.

  • TWW

    Yeah, the “witnesses” need to change their story to make it sound like the huge guy is still a victim. Why in the world would an officer ever try to pull a huge yes criminal into his squad car – wouldn’t happen, visualize it. Total story creation by witnesses!

    Obviously there was a physical confrontation – and if you put an officer’s life at risk then your allowed in my book to get shot.

    • Jamaal Jackson

      Tww u really make no sense even the officer himself said something happen at the car. U need to get the facts before u write officer Dorian Wilson had no reason after the fact to shoot after he ran away how much could u fear with the person is running away from u after being shot. And even if michael brown was bigger then the officer what was the reason for all those shots. Are u that scared of a man.

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