New audio of the Michael Brown killing has just been released by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper, acquired through the state’s Sunshine FOI law. While the recording doesn’t reveal anything truly groundbreaking or definitive in terms of proving or disproving Wilson’s guilt, is does uncover some tantalizing evidence on the events leading up to the shooting.
First, that Wilson didn’t recognize Brown as being the suspect in the store robbery when he asked him and Johnson to stop. Second, that after pulling away and realizing Brown matched the description, he called for backup, and then backed his SUV toward the two. Lastly, if the time on the Tweet that immediately followed the shooting is accurate, approximately 90 seconds passed between Wilson stopping the two and his opening fire on Brown.
Here’s the timeline of events as it stands right now, given the newly released 9-1-1 tapes, Wilson’s testimony, the Tweet and other evidence.
11:47 a.m.: Wilson tells dispatcher he will respond to a call for a 2-year-old with breathing problems. Heads in that direction from the west side of Florissant Ave.
11:53 a.m.: Dispatcher reports theft in progress at liquor store.
19 seconds later: Dispatcher gives description of black male in a white t-shirt running toward QuikTrip.
11:57 a.m.: Dispatcher elaborates with more detail, describing a red Cardinals cap, yellow socks and khaki shorts.
12:00 noon: Wilson reports he’s back in service from the baby call, asks other officers — Units 22 and 25 — if they need help looking for cigar thief.
7 seconds later: Another officer says the suspect has disappeared.
Approx 12:01 p.m.: Wilson spots Johnson and Brown walking down the middle of the street. Tells them to get out of the street. They keep walking and he keeps going. Moments later, he remembers the description and stops.
12:02 p.m.: Calls dispatch for backup. “21 [his unit number]. Put me on Canfield with two, and send me another car.” Dispatcher acknowledges. He then backs his SUV up to Brown and Johnson.
Less than 61 seconds later:
So, not telling us much we don’t already know, and it’s certainly no explanation as to how Brown got shot a dozen times, including a coup shot to the top of the head. Which, according to practically everyone but Wilson, came as he was tumbling to the ground after having already been shot several times.
It also doesn’t prove or disprove Wilson’s claim that Brown and Johnson attacked him and “went for his gun” — though it does support the idea that Wilson might have attempted to “detain” Brown using the “strong arm through the window while waiting on backup” tactic he’d been awarded for using before.
That’s exactly how Johnson described the scene, and this setup is eerily similar to the one Wilson experienced the last time he headlocked someone and pulled them halfway inside his vehicle while waiting for other officers.
The Grand Jury ruling on whether to proceed with charges is expected any day now. Though, at this point in the Brotherhood of Blue’s CYA Game, only an actual investigation would be surprising.