Two CNN law enforcement analysts called into question the authenticity of a recording aired by the network on Monday purporting to be of a series of fatal gun shots fired by Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson at Michael Brown.
“Do you think it’s authentic?” CNN “New Day” host Michaela Pereira asked her two guests on Wednesday, referring to the audio allegedly recorded by a man who lives in an apartment near where Brown was shot on Aug. 9.
“I have no idea,” said David Klinger, a former Los Angeles police officer who now works as a CNN contributor.
“I’ve told your producers that for all I know this is something that one of Howard Stern’s punk people have been doing. It came out, what, two weeks after the event, so I don’t have a high degree of confidence in it.”
“I look at this and I say my first inclination is someone is trying to punk CNN,” said Klinger.
“I could be wrong. Hopefully we’ll find out.”
The 12-second recording begins with a man leaving a message on an adult chat line. While he’s talking, six shots ring out in the background. After a three-second pause, another four shots can be heard.
Lopa Blumenthal, the attorney for the man, told CNN on Monday that her client was not aware of the significance of the tape until last week. Blumenthal said she was told of the recording by the man’s roommate at a social event. She said she is certain that the tape is authentic. (RELATED: Shots Heard In Alleged Brown Shooting Recording)
The man was interviewed by law enforcement on Monday and was reportedly set to be interviewed again on Tuesday.
But Tom Fuentes, a CNN law enforcement analyst, agreed with Klinger.
“When I heard this yesterday I thought the exact same thing, it’s a hoax,” he said on “New Day.”
“All accounts, from Brown’s side and the officer’s side say there was a single shot fired initially at the door of the police car,” said Fuentes.
“We’re missing that first shot.”
Fuentes said that engineers will be trying to determine if the recording was dubbed and whether the tape is complete.
Pereira told Fuentes that the tape they aired Monday was “all we were given.”
Whether fake or authentic, Fuentes said that the recording “supports both sides.”
Some witnesses have said that they heard up to ten shots. Dorian Johnson, who was beside Brown during the altercation, told the media of only a few shots.
But Johnson’s recollection has been called into question given that he avoided telling that he and Brown were involved in a strong-arm robbery just moments before they encountered Wilson.
Most other witnesses have said that after an initial shot was fired in Wilson’s cruiser — which followed a struggle between the officer and Brown — Brown ran away. Wilson followed while firing his gun. At some point, Brown reportedly turned around to face Wilson.
Some witnesses have said that Brown was surrendering at that point. Wilson has reportedly claimed that Brown charged him. One witness who has yet to speak directly to the media but who was recorded telling a group of people gathered at the scene of the shooting what he saw unfold said that Brown ran towards Wilson.
An autopsy released last week showed that Brown was struck by six bullets, all in the front of the body.
CNN host Don Lemon first aired the speculative recording Monday night, though he reiterated that the network was unable to verify that the recording was authentic.
As Breitbart News pointed out, the network has a poor track-record in reporting audio. The site cited a 2012 report in which it claimed that George Zimmerman uttered a racial epithet during a phone call with a police non-emergency dispatcher before his fatal encounter with Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla.