Citing “government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter,” the New York Times has just published police officer Darren Wilson’s account of the Michael Brown shooting. “The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two months ago has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mr. Brown . . . Darren Wilson told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.” Which raises the question . . .
Why did the Times use the phrase “it was fired” instead of “Officer Wilson fired his gun”? If indeed it was Officer Wilson who fired his gun. And what kind of retention holster was he using? The Times wants to know . . .
why, after he emerged from his vehicle, [Wilson] fired at Mr. Brown multiple times. It contradicts some witness accounts, and it will not calm those who have been demanding to know why an unarmed man was shot a total of six times.
That’s just the Times talking. The new information does little to change the important question: was Officer Wilson in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm when he shot Michael Brown – when the Officer was outside his vehicle.
But it does make you wonder why Brown, who may have not realized he’d been shot (adrenalin), would re-engage Wilson after the life-or-death struggle in the cruiser. It was probably a “fight, flight or freeze” thing. Those were Brown’s options when Wilson pointed a gun at him and ordered him to stop (presumably). If so, wrong answer. Obviously.
The Times recaps and recounts eyewitness accounts of the shooting, some of which cast Officer Wilson as the aggressor. And then returns to the facts of the matter, such as they are known.
The officials briefed on the case said the forensic evidence gathered in the car lent credence to Officer Wilson’s version of events. According to his account, he was trying to leave his vehicle when Mr. Brown pushed him back in. Once inside the S.U.V., the two began to fight, Officer Wilson told investigators, and he removed his gun from the holster on his right hip.
Chief Jon Belmar of the St. Louis County Police Department has said in interviews that Officer Wilson was “pushed back into the car” by Mr. Brown and “physically assaulted.” The department is conducting the local investigation into Mr. Brown’s death.
Spokesmen for the F.B.I. and the Justice Department declined to comment.
The Grand Jury’s been on this case since August. St. Louis County prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch told the Times he expects a decision by mid-November. Hopefully in the middle of snow storm.