Ferguson Officer's Version: Michael Brown Attacked Me, Grabbed My Gun

Monday, 18 Aug 2014 11:11 PM

By Greg Richter

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A woman claiming to be a friend of the police officer who shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, called in to a radio show Friday and gave what she said was the officer's account: that he was attacked first and that teenager Michael Brown grabbed for his gun.

CNN, which first reported the account, said that they had independently confirmed with police authorities that the story matches the version of events given by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

The woman identified herself as "Josie," and called in to "The Dana Show," hosted by Dana Loesch. Josie said she got the story from police officer Darren Wilson's "significant other."

Story continues below.



Here's the account she gave:

Wilson said 18-year-old Michael Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson were walking in the middle of the street, so Wilson pulled up in his patrol car and told them, "Come on guys, get out of the street," but they refused, saying they were almost at their destination.

He kept rolling beside them and they cursed at him. He finally pulled over, at which point Josie said she believes he called for backup.

"He pulled up ahead of them. And he was watching them, and then he got a call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery," she said. That was the convenience-store robbery shown on surveillance tapes of Brown grabbing a handful of cigars and pushing a clerk away when Brown and Johnson left without paying.

The pair matched the description of the robbers, and also appeared to be holding cigars.

"So he goes in reverse back to them. Tries to get out of his car. They slam his door shut violently. I think he said Michael did," Josie said. "And then he opened his car again. He tries to get out. And as he stands up, Michael just bum-rushes him, just shoves him back into his car, punches him in the face. And then Darren grabs for his gun. Michael grabs the gun, at one point he's got the gun turned totally against his hip. And Darren shoves it away, and the gun goes off."

Brown and Johnson then ran, Josie said, and got about 35 feet away.

"Darren's first protocol is to pursue. So, he stands up and yells, 'Freeze!' Michael and his friend turn around. And Michael starts taunting him, 'Oh, what are you going to do about it? You're not going to shoot me.' And then he said all the sudden he just started to bum-rush him. He just started coming at him full speed. And so he just started shooting. And he just kept coming. So, he really thinks he was on something because he just kept coming."

The final shot was in the forehead, Josie said, and Brown fell about two or three feet in front of Wilson.

CNN said it verified with its police department sources that the story Josie told on the radio was the same as Wilson's version of events. CNN called the stories an exact match.

"It's been really, really hard to be quiet," Josie told radio host Loesch. But she said people are giving only one side of the story; she wanted to give Wilson's version so people could consider it.

She said no one has been in contact with Wilson since Tuesday.

The shooting has sparked more than a week of protests in Ferguson and has had racial overtones since the victim was black and the officer is white.

Lawyer Mark O'Mara, the lawyer for George Zimmerman in the Trayvon Martin case, told CNN that Wilson likely is in hiding and in fear of his life.

"What's happening is all of the anger of all of the underlying racial undertones of this case that have nothing to do with Mike Brown, nothing to do with the officer, are now coming to the surface," O'Mara said. "That's being focused against him, not just what may have happened to Mike Brown, but what's been happening wrong for 20-30-50 years."

Shortly before nightfall on Monday, police with plastic handcuffs took positions and tried to clear a main thoroughfare where protests have taken place at night, directing crowds into designated protest areas, according to Reuters. 

"They tell you to stand still, then they tell you to keep walking, then they tell you to stand still," said Mark Stafford, a church pastor from O'Fallon, Missouri.

National Guard troops could be seen walking on the fringes of the gathering, and were keeping a distance from protesters. The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday it renewed a ban on low-flying civilian aircraft over Ferguson to help law enforcement authorities do their job.

Getty photographer Scott Olson, with cameras around his neck and his hands bound behind him, was led off the street by police. Getty Images said in a statement it stood behind its photographer and was working to secure his release.

President Barack Obama said he told the governor that the National Guard use should be limited and urged healing instead of violence. Attorney General Eric Holder will travel to Ferguson on Wednesday, Obama added.

"While I understand the passions and the anger that arise over the death of Brown, giving into that anger by looting or carrying guns, and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines rather than advancing justice," Obama told a news conference.

The president met with Holder on Monday to discuss the unrest. Holder said more than 40 FBI agents were canvassing Ferguson neighborhoods in an investigation that included federal and local officials.

"Moreover, at my direction, an additional medical examination is being performed on the body of Michael Brown," Holder said. Results of official autopsies by federal authorities and the county are pending.

An autopsy conducted on behalf of Brown's family showed he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head. The path of one bullet indicates the 18-year-old may have been lowering his head in surrender when the fatal shot hit, according to Brown family attorney Daryl Parks.

Parks told a news conference one bullet hit Brown in the very top of his head and another shattered his right eye.

"His head was in a downward position," Parks said. "Given those kind of facts, this officer should have been arrested," Parks said.

There were no signs of struggle with the officer and no gunshot residue on the body.

Edward Magee, a spokesman for the St. Louis County prosecutor's office, said the case could be presented this week to a grand jury, which will decide whether Wilson will be indicted.

Thousands of demonstrators, angry that the police officer was not arrested, have filled the streets. Most if the town's 21,000 residents are black, with many saying the shooting was emblematic of police excesses, a charge authorities deny.

The National Bar Association, the country's largest network of black attorneys and judges, filed a lawsuit on Monday against Ferguson and its police department over evidence related to Brown's shooting.

The suit asks the department to preserve all videos, photographs, police logs and investigative reports about the shooting, as well as arrest reports for protesters who were detained in the days and nights that followed.

Looting has left several stores in shambles, with police saying they have been attacked with Molotov cocktails.

Law enforcement officials have been widely criticized for using excessive force.

Two children were treated and released from a hospital for injuries caused on Sunday night by tear gas exposure, the St Louis Children's Hospital said.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged U.S. authorities to protect protesters' rights to peaceful assembly.

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