The Grand Jury proceedings are not looking very positive for Officer Darren Wilson, unless you ask the Dumbest Man on the Internet, Jim Hoft.
“An eyewitness to the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson told the grand jury this week that Brown did not have his hands up when he was shot dead by Officer Darren Wilson. The eyewitness watched the shooting from near the Canfield Green apartments,” Hoft wrote.
Wow, sounds pretty bad, unless you actually read what the witness had to say. The witness said, instead, that Brown’s arms were raised — palms up — more to his sides than directly in the air when Wilson unloaded on him.
“Some have said Brown raised his arms high in surrender, giving rise to a common protesters’ chant of “Hands up, don’t shoot” while mimicking the move,” the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports. “But this witness said Brown never put his hands straight up, but held his elbows straight out from his torso, with palms turned up in a sort of gesture of disbelief.”
Hoo boy, that does sound frightening.
The latest witness, who says he saw the entire event from start to finish, said that he heard a gunshot and saw Brown begin to run away. As Brown was fleeing, Wilson aimed his gun at Brown and yelled, “Stop! Stop! Stop!” He said that Brown turned around and took one step toward Wilson.
“When he stepped foot on that street, the officer told him to stop again, and he fired three shots,” the witness recalled. “When he (Brown) got hit, he staggered like, ‘Oh,’ and his body moved. Then he looked down.
“His hands were up like this (he gestures with arms out to the side and palms upward), and he was looking at the officer and was coming toward him trying to keep his feet and stand up. The officer took a few steps back and yelled, ‘Stop,’ again, and Michael was trying to stay on his feet.
“He was 20 to 25 feet from officer, and after he started staggering, he (Wilson) let off four more rounds. As he was firing those last rounds, Michael was on his way down. We were thinking, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, brother, stop, stop.’ He was already on his way down when he fired those last shots.”
The witness said Wilson didn’t have to kill Brown. “It went from zero to 100 like that, in the blink of an eye. … What transpired to us, in my eyesight, was murder. Down outright murder.”
The witness said that he was familiar with Brown, as he had seen the teen, who was unarmed when he was gunned down by Officer Wilson, around the neighborhood. “He was one of the few in all the years I’ve lived out here with all these young guys who ever addressed me as ‘sir’ and asked me how I was doing instead of, ‘What’s up, dog?’” the witness said.
Oh, let’s say that his hands were more to the sides than up. His palms were raised — which is a sign of surrender. This witness has confirmed that, if Brown did move toward Officer Wilson, it was because he was staggering after being shot.
Let’s see how Mr. Hoft reported it, shall we?
Hoft quoted a general rundown of the witness’s claims, but carefully avoided actually quoting the witness.
A stream of eyewitnesses has been testifying in secret before a grand jury considering whether to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown near the Canfield Green apartments in Ferguson.
One Canfield resident — who said he saw the killing of Michael Brown from start to finish and talked to the grand jury recently — has given the Post-Dispatch an account with some key differences from previous public statements from other witnesses.
Among the recollections of the witness, who agreed to an interview on the condition that his name not be used, were:
** After an initial scuffle in the car, the officer did not fire until Brown turned back toward him.
** Brown put his arms out to his sides but never raised his hands high.
** Brown staggered toward Wilson despite commands to stop.
** The two were about 20 to 25 feet apart when the last shots were fired.
** He would not detail what he told the grand jury but said the members seemed fair and asked a lot of questions.
Witnesses have given differing accounts since the white officer killed the unarmed black teen Aug. 9, triggering protests, riots and national attention.
That sounds pretty bad, unless you read what the man actually said. Hoft then claimed that an autopsy confirmed Brown was shot in the top of the head — an attempt to lead readers to believe this confirmed Brown was charging Wilson. However, while that is a possibility, the more likely explanation is that he was staggering forward after his body was riddled with bullets.
Hoft then showed a screenshot of Brown allegedly robbing a store, just to remind his readers that Brown is a “thug.” In reality, the store owner himself said that neither he, nor any employee called police. Instead, a customer called to report what he or she perceived as a robbery.
Oddly missing from Hoft’s report on the witness account was his own blatant lie that Darren Wilson suffered an orbital blowout fracture at the hands of thuggish thug Michael Brown. Hoft’s “evidence,” widely-circulated by right-wing news media and morons who pay attention to it with anything besides a bewildered grin, was shown to actually be a file photo from the University of Iowa.
However, facts do not matter to Hoft’s readers, who had a racist meltdown over this new “news” that Brown’s arms were not raised as high in the air as they think they should have been.
Witness accounts have differed, but University of Missouri criminologist David Klinger says this is normal.
Differences in witness accounts are no surprise to researchers, who even have a name for it: the Rashomon effect. It’s derived from the title of a Japanese movie in which four witnesses’ accounts of a rape and murder differ notably.
“That’s why anyone who wants to put complete faith in his statements is foolish and anyone who wants to completely discount what Dorian Johnson saw, is foolish,” said David Klinger, a University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist. “It is entirely possible that multiple witnesses will recall different things. That’s why it’s critical to wait and see what all the evidence shows.”
Klinger, who has testified as an expert witness in numerous police shooting cases, recalls one in Houston in which one eyewitness said she saw an officer handcuff a teen, hogtie him and shoot him. Another witness, standing in nearly the same place, testified that the officer handcuffed the teen after he was shot, but the witness did not see him shot again or hogtied. “They’re not lying; they just have different stories,” Klinger said.
One must wonder if Hoft’s readers even bother to read his sources.