A man who claimed to have witnessed the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown said that he saw the 18-year-old doubling back towards the officer who shot him – a claim that counters most other witnesses’ rendition of the incident.
The man’s account was captured in the background of a video uploaded to Youtube. The blog The Conservative Treehouse first discovered the background chatter.
“How’d he get from there to here?” a bystander asked a man who claimed to have seen Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shoot Brown.
“Because he ran,” said the witness.
“Police was still in the truck,” he described.
“Why his body come this way though?” the other man asked.
“He was like, over the truck, [garbled] so then he ran. Police got out, and ran after he him,” said the witness.
After running, the witness said that Brown stopped and turned back around.
“Next thing I know he’s coming back towards the police. The police had his gun drawn on him,” the witness said.
“Police kept dumping on him, I’m thinking that the police missed him,” he continued, saying that he heard “at least five shots” and saying that “police are…this far from him.”
“Next thing I know,” the witness said, “I think…dude start running, kept coming toward the police.”
That rendition is at odds with other accounts provided by Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, and other witnesses who have appeared on television.
Johnson said that after a struggle between Wilson and Brown in which Wilson drew his gun and fired, Brown was struck and ran away. After that, according to Johnson, Wilson emerged from his cruiser and continued shooting even as Brown was surrendering.
“He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he put his hands in the air, and he started to get down,” Johnson told a television reporter shortly after the shooting.
Johnson said that after Brown began to move to the ground, Wilson “fired several more shots.”
Another witness, Tiffany Mitchell, provided an account that was similar to Johnson’s.
Though the witness in the Youtube video account likely did not cover every detail of what he saw, he did not mention Brown being shot in the back. Nor did he mention Brown holding his hands up the air and crouching down on the ground in order to surrender.
“Hands up, don’t shoot,” has become one of the rallying cries of protesters angry over the shooting.
Johnson, 22, did not tell reporters that he was present with Brown moments before the altercation with Wilson at a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store. There, Brown stole a box of cigars and shoved a store clerk. During his retelling to television reporters, Johnson also indicated that Wilson harassed the pair for no reason.
Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson said on Friday that Wilson was not aware that Brown had been involved in the strong-arm robbery when he first encountered them. But as Wilson was pulling away, he heard a police dispatch call describing the suspects in the robbery. He then doubled-back to confront the two, according to Jackson.
Wilson told investigators that Brown punched him in the face and tried to steal his gun during a struggle inside Wilson’s cruiser.