Darren Wilson’s side of the story (probably)

A woman identifying herself as a friend of Darren Wilson has provided what she says is the account of the officer who killed Michael Brown. The woman, who called herself Josie, gave the account to a radio talk show she called.

According to Josie, Wilson says he initially flagged down Brown for walking in the middle of the street. Nothing much came of that confrontation.

But then Wilson received a radio report that someone matching Brown’s description had robbed a convenience store. (It appears from video evidence that Brown did, indeed, rob a store and manhandle the clerk).

Wilson therefore pulled his car up to Brown and started to get out of it. Brown, who was enormous, pushed Wilson back into the car and punched him in the face, according to what Josie says is Wilson’s account. This conduct, if it occurred, would be consistent with Brown’s aggressive behavior in the convenience store.

Wilson had a gun. According to what Josie says Wilson told her, Brown reached for it and, in the struggle, the gun pressed against Wilson’s hip. Wilson was able to push the gun away.

Brown then fled with his friends. Wilson followed and told them to freeze. Instead, Brown turned and, from a distance of maybe 35 feet, began taunting Wilson and saying that he wouldn’t shoot. Then, according to this account, Brown charged Wilson. Wilson began firing, but Brown kept coming. Finally, a shot to the head stopped Brown just a few feet in front of Wilson.

This account is consistent with the autopsy finding that the bullets entered the front of Brown’s body, not the back. However, that finding is consistent with other scenarios too.

CNN reports that Josie’s version matches what the police, presumably relying on Wilson, has told investigators. If so, then this is probably Wilson’s side of the story.

Wilson’s problem is that Brown’s friends are likely to contradict this account. Wilson may be hard-pressed to find witnesses who will confirm it. No fellow officer was with him, though he “may have called for back up,” according to Josie. (If he did, would he have then murdered Brown in broad daylight, knowing that other officers were probably on the way?).

It is possible that Brown’s friends have already given accounts of the shooting that contradict what the autopsy shows. It’s also possible that, prior to the release of the video showing the convenience store robbery, Brown’s friends made statements inconsistent with that evidence. If Brown’s friends have been caught in a lie, then, assuming Wilson isn’t caught in any, he should be believed.

All I think we know right now is that shortly before he encountered Wilson, Brown had engaged in criminality/thuggery and that Wilson didn’t shoot him as he was running away.

The protesters in the streets of Ferguson can hold their hands up and say “don’t shoot” all they want. I’d be surprised if Brown had his hands raised when he was shot.

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