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Wolf Blitzer asks why cops can't "shoot to injure." (courtesy

Officer Darren Wilson is innocent until he’s proven guilty. What I’m about to write is speculation on the course of events based on an account of the shooting of teenager Michael Brown provided by a woman named “Josie,” who phoned it in to The Dana Show on NewsTalk 97.1 KTFK [as above]. Josie claims her description came from Wilson himself. CNN said they checked her account with officers close to the investigation into the shooting. They decided that the testimony was close enough for rock and roll. With that said, let’s take a look at this incident and what may – I repeat may – have happened. Here’s Josie’s story [via] . . .

According to Josie, Officer Wilson was aware of the convenience store robbery and had flagged down Brown and his friend Dorian Johnson for walking in the middle of the street. When he realized the description on the police radio matched that of Brown, he pulled up near them to get out of the car. That’s when, as Josie told host Dana Loesch, Brown allegedly shoved the officer back into his cruiser and punched him in the face.

Josie alleged that Brown reached for Wilson’s gun and, at one point, had it completely turned against the officer’s hip. When the officer shoved the weapon away, it fired, she said.

Again, let’s assume that this description of events is mostly accurate. I say mostly because A) it’s second hand news B) the info comes from Officer Wilson (who no doubt casts the story in the most favorable light) and C) guns don’t fire unless someone pulls the trigger.

It’s that last fact that stands out – especially when you combine it with the virtual certainty that Officer Wilson’s firearm was secured in a Level II or III retention holster. It is highly unlikely that Brown was able to extract Wilson’s gun from his holster during the struggle. Brown punched Officer Wilson in the face. He probably would have fallen backwards.

You’ve got to wonder if, in fact, Brown reached into the car for Officer Wilson’s gun. Why would he? To disarm Officer Wilson? To kill him? Brown, eighteen-years-old at the time of his death, didn’t have a criminal record. (Some reports suggest Brown head a record that was sealed.) If he’d had a propensity for extreme violence, one would think he would have had a rap sheet.

The more logical explanation for the initial gunshot: Officer Wilson pulled his gun after Brown punched (shoved?) him. At that point, Brown may have grabbed for the gun, causing a struggle, resulting in a ballistic discharge.

This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.

Call that round one. Next up: round two.

“Michael takes off with his friend,” she continued. “And they get to be about 35 feet away.” Josie asserted that Wilson then followed police protocol by pursuing Brown and telling him to “freeze.” She claimed that Brown “started hounding” the officer, suggesting he wouldn’t actually fire the weapon at the teenagers.

The lethal threat is over. At that point, Officer Wilson should have holstered his firearm. It seems clear he didn’t. It also seems clear that Officer Wilson had his gun trained on the teen when he yelled “freeze.” While that’s standard operating procedure for police on TV, that’s not normal police protocol.

If nothing else, holding a firearm precludes the use of any other less-lethal or non-lethal weapon. Remember: Officer Wilson knew Brown was unarmed. And Brown was walking away. Brown did not pose an imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm to Officer Wilson or other innocent life.

“All of the sudden, [Brown] just started to bum rush him,” Josie added. “He just started coming at him, full-speed, and so [Wilson] just started shooting, and [Brown] just kept coming.”

In many ways, the die was cast. Officer Wilson had seconds to make a decision. He already had a gun in his hand, probably pointed at Brown. Brown had indicated his belief that Wilson wouldn’t fire. Brown had already shown his willingness to use physical force. And Brown was BIG.

At this point, I’d like to point out that Brown used physical intimidation in the robbery before the shooting. The video above shows Brown leaving the scene of the crime – unmolested – and then doubling back to scare the owner. Past behavior is the best indicator of future performance. It’s entirely credible that Brown rushed Officer Wilson.

And more: “So [Wilson] really thinks [Brown] was on something, because he just kept coming. It was unbelievable. And so he finally ended up, the final shot was in the forehead, and then he fell about two to three feet in front of the officer.”

Gun guys know the score: one bullet into a person rushing towards you isn’t going to stop them – especially if there’s a lot of momentum (i.e. a big person). Officer Wilson kept shooting because that’s what he was trained to do.

Michael Brown hits (courtesy

Notice that the shots all landed left. Chances are Officer Wilson had too much finger on the trigger. Which reflects either poor training, low skill, high stress or some combination thereof. Not that it makes any difference, but one wonders how many shots Officer Wilson fired in total.

That’s one perspective on the Michael Brown shooting, using information which has not been independently or scientifically verified. But as long as we’re here, let me say this: I believe Officer Wilson was defending himself when he shot Michael Brown. Whether he should have put himself in that position, without viable alternatives, is another story. But it is the story of this shooting.

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    • Yeah, who needs to let the facts play out. In fact, why even bother going through the process of a grand jury and perhaps a trial? I mean, the guy is a murderer, right? Murderers don’t deserve the presumption of innocence.

      Time to dust off the Justice for Trayvon signs – and get out the ‘ol lootin’ bags too.

      • Murderers deserve a presumption of innocence as much as their victims deserve a presumption of guilt. Amirite?

      • THE man wanted TRUTH ABOUT GUNS,,, so BROWN was on DRUGS and just did a CRIME , and the policeman had seconds to stop this street punk……..the cops did RIGHT….

        • DOES ANYONE KNOW IF THE STORE OWNER GOT HIS CIGARILLOS BACK? It’s like no one cares, HE was the real victim, and no one cares!

      • TTAG’s equivalent of forum “first”.

        RSS feed/alert. Scramble to post. Rushed de facto negative response. Top of the page… win the internet!

        Internet acronym coined: IBPTM – “In Before…”.

    • Got to agree, way to much armchair quarterbacking here. I know that was the point of the article but this is quite bad.

    • Agreed, This is poor, even by Rob’s standards.

      Damm man, you can’t even do some simple research into what happens in combat? Two on one physical conflicts? Force on force studies are all available online and tons of real life incidents can be dissected and learned from. All of them with insightful commentary from leading experts in our country. Both phsyc docs, medical doctors and application of force institute experts. Or even better, get to a fricken school. Heck man, you can write it off as a business expense. This is a pitiful break down with an obvious anti cop bias, written by drawing on absolutely zero experience or training on the subject matter.

      • The problem is this is law enforcement, not combat. You’re apprehending a suspect, not killing a combatant. Police should be in the business of serving and protecting citizens, not force protection. Sure there is some overlap because you’re dealing with potential belligerents, but where there is too much overlap–like most third-world countries–the police become an occupying force intent on violently enforcing the will of political thugs on citizens.

        As many others said here, it’s not so much the equipment as the warlike mindset that fuels these conflicts.

        • all I can say was it me and I had no way to backup and no support I would have let go till my gun run dry, no way could I fist fight a 300 pound attacker….

          • That’s why you have a fucking taser, and pepper spray, and a baton. For crying out fucking loud… There is a reason why cops don’t shoot everybody who raises a hand against them.

        • Poster “whatever” : You say this is not combat?

          Really? So there is a difference if you are killed in Iraq or on a suburban street in Everytown USA?

          If you are being killed, you are being killed. And the same mechanics of ….egh., NVM. Just stick with COD4

          • Please let me know when gangs graduate to using IEDs and mortars. Criminals shooting criminals does not make America more dangerous than Iraq. (They have plenty of that as well.)

        • @lastmarineout

          I was not making a definitive statement about this particular incident so much as the overall attitude of policing as warfare, life or death, us or them. This particular incident aside, perhaps a less militarized mindset from the entire department toward local citizens, i.e. treating each and every citizen encounter as if you’re in enemy territory, could have deescalated tensions long before before people took to the streets.

          Besides, I thought Marines have a saying: Be polite, be respectful, and have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    • I gotta agree, RF if you don’t understand why it’s legal for a cop to draw on a man after being assaulted you need to asses your values. I’m not a fan of jack booted thug cops, but I do believe in self defense. Punch a cop, get shot. Seems pretty reasonable to me.

      • And when an officer physically intimidates you on NO significant ground other than you look like you don’t belong”? Because they are cops they have the right to use deadly force without consequence? If any other citizen would have killed that man in the street unarmed, he would be a murder. Cops have a belief that they are morally superior, that they have a god given right to impose whatever laws they feel necessary to teach us a lesson, while disregarding the actual laws. I am a petite 23 year old, you would think when a cop sees me they would not see me as a threat. I don’t dress like a bum or act like a thug. Just a typical 23 year old girl. I got pulled over for my tag, one cop gets out of the car, 6’5 probably just a big man. He comes to my window and asks for my information, when i glance over at my side mirror on passenger side i notice that a 2nd cop is creeping up the side of my car with his hand on his gun, half crouched like I’m going to pull out a gun. Why? Or the time i was pulled over in my boss’s neighborhood, the cop blatantly says to me he pulled me over because i didn’t look like i belonged ( it was a very nice neighborhood and i drove an older Buick) and almost searched my car while questioning me repeatedly about why i was there. Why? There is no justification. We are not heathens who need to be tamed. I refuse to let my daughter or myself become another cow in the herd. I would think a smart person like yourself wouldn’t wasn’t that either.

    • While I disagree with much of the post, there are enough disclaimers, etc., to note that these are discussion items, not statements /ex cathedra/. Think “95 Thesis” v. “Papal Bull”. 🙂

    • Can Robert get any more anti-cop? Why would he holster his weapon after he just got assaulted by a 300 lb man (not boy)? If this account is true it seems like a “good shoot.” Brown already seemed like an a-hole in the released video. F him. If u don’t want to get shot, don’t charge a cop, it’s that simple. I can’t wait until all these protesters are proven wrong.

      • @KK, EXACTLY. You have to understand RF’s mission. As a leftist fomenter, he is using the standard Soviet style misdirection tactic.

    • Anti-cop??? RF said “let me say this: I believe Officer Wilson was defending himself when he shot Michael Brown. ”

      Other than that, what the hell is wrong with assuming that cops are human and make errors of judgment?

    • “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. ”

      Are you freaking delusional or what?

      • RF, says: If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

        And, later:

        “The lethal threat is over. At that point, Officer Wilson should have holstered his firearm.”

        These two quotes are incredible. Pure idiocy. Apparently, RF believes getting assaulted is not cause to draw a weapon! What then, my friend, could possibly be? And, as to the second bit of idiocy, the threat clearly was not over! Brown charged the officer, thus proving that his decision to keep his weapon drawn was the correct one. Had he not done so, it is quite possible he’d have been beaten to death by Brown. The assault in the police car proves that.

        Really, whatever bias or thought process or lack thereof is making RF stupid and harming this site.

      • While I agree with most of what is in the write up, I believe the disparity of force and the duty to stop the threat to not only himself but the public at large, justifies drawing his weapon and firing if required to stop an attacking felon. Brown at the moment of death was a dangerous felon, in commission of an attack. Someone willing to attack an armed police officer considers himself a deadly threat,and is confident enough in his ability to overcome the officer. i personally would have shot him to the ground without hesitation.

    • The LEO was assaulted and barely maintained control of his personal weapon and in fact a shot was fired INSIDE the cruiser. At that point he is going to try to make a felony arrest. I’ll be DAMNED if I holster my firearm during anything similar!

      Not only has this call in info been available for almost 5 DAYS…I heard it in real time BTW, but the analysis shows some immature and unlearned opinion.

      Robert seems to take single snippets, articles from radio or media and then forms an opinion excluding information readily available from other sources. He appears to have an anti-LEO agenda concerning the events in Ferguson.

      I’ve offered links and video in other posts. All seemingly ignored…..

      • @Tominator: “He appears to have an anti-LEO agenda concerning the events in Ferguson.”

        Oh it’s anti-LEO and anti-conservative full time here at TTAG, not just with the mess in Ferguson.

        • I would have to say Robert got it big time wrong. If we follow the scenario, the cop had every responsibility to apprehend this man after physically assaulting him, punching him in the face and wrestling for the gun, and considering the size of the man; he, bare handed, would definitely be considered a deadly weapon, so the cop with gun in hand is completely reasonable. Then, if Brown did run towards the cop after having just wrestled for the cops gun; the cop would be fully justified in shooting to stop the threat being in fear for his life.

          I am curious though what brings you to say that Robert is anti-conservative or leftist? I would say more libertarian than anything.

        • Libertarians tend to be anti-Conservative and vice versa….nothing wrong with thoss discussions except there has never in world history been a Libertarian Government last any longer that it took to get a Conservative to point out the false assumptions! It collapses that fast! LOL!

      • Yeah, right? Just because the cop was assaulted with an empty fist doesn’t mean that fist won’t be wrapped around a weapon the next time around. If I scream “I’m unarmed!” while I stab you to death, does that mean you can’t shoot me?

    • Paul, if cops feel the need to respond to non-lethal assault with lethal force or threat there of, they should turn in their badges and seek a job that requires less testicular fortitude. At no point in this narrative was the officer justified in using lethal force over non-lethal alternatives available to him and as per standard spectrum of force guidelines common to almost every law enforcement agency in the US.

      On top of that, the story has one glaring hole in it. There is zero chance that the firearm went off during a struggle as there was no GSR on the suspect. That’s patently impossible if they were struggling for the weapon.

      • How do you know there was no GSR on the suspect? Also you do know that in order for a pistol to deposit significant GSR, it has to be virtually in contact, right? I can think of many ways that it would not have ended up on either participant if neither one was actually hit during the initial struggle.

        • How do I know there was no GSR? Because that’s what the preliminary autopsy report says. You’re confusing GSR with stippling. How do you think all that grime winds up on your hands after a day at the range? That’s GSR, it deposits on everything within several feet of the muzzle. If you were struggling for the weapon and it went off, you would have GSR on you. No question. Since no GSR was found, the part of the story where the gun “went off” during the struggle is complete BS.

      • I invite you to prove your ‘testicular fortitude’ by putting on a badge and 20lb of gear and facing men bigger, stronger and better than you- of which there are ALWAYS some- without being able to stop them from cracking your skull in if need be with a firearm.

        Until you do that you’re nothing more than another keyboard commando who thinks taking three years of Tae Kwon Do as a kid mean you’re a badass.

        • I’m a United States Marine, you know, the guys actually TRAINED to use the gear you overweight pussies are running around with. If you can’t handle a single fistfight without pulling out a gun, despite having a taser and pepper spray, you need to turn in your badge because obviously you’re too much of a trigger happy asshole to have one.

          • And how would anyone know a attackers had no weapons, yes someone 20/30 may win a fist fight ….but their are woman and old people who ONLY have a CCW pistol to shoot or DIE and yes you will be old one day too………….

            • I’m not talking about women and old people. I’m talking about COPS strapped with more gear than the Geardoest Fobbit who ever Fobbitted. He had a taser, pepper spray, and a baton. Any of those would have been a more appropriate response to this than puling a firearm. The reason cops are paid so much is because, unlike normal people, they are expected to use proportional force. When they start lighting up anybody who looks at them funny, we have a problem.

        • No, cops are trained to use force+1. I don’t know where you heard that fairytale about “equal force”. They can’t fight fair because their job is to end a problem and keep people safe. They can’t do that if they lose a fistfight due to some random variable, and their cruiser and weapons are stolen, putting weapons in the hands of criminals. You start it, they end it. You get loud, you get arrested. You get physical, you get maced, tazed, or shot, whichever the cop deems appropriate depending on whether or not you’re wielding a weapon, or attacked the cop in such a way that they feel their life is in danger. They have a job: stop the threat and go home alive, not play fair and get hospitalized or killed trading punches with some punk with a fucked-up pituitary gland.

          • Regarding OffThePink’s comment…I heard this a while back: “If your find yourself in a fair fight, you’re going it wrong.”

    • Agreed. I couldn’t figure out if I was reading an article from the huffington post or what…

    • Sorry, Paul, but we don’t all agree with you. That does not mean we agree with this article or with some of the others articles posted to TTAGs. I, for one, do appreciate articles, like this one, that present varying viewpoints, especially when they are different than my own preconceived ones, ie, articles that are food for thought and discussion. Although I may not agree with everything in this article, it has raised points that others may raise and that I had not considered. I always read the comments after an article I’m interested in, for I often learn as much from the discussion as I did from the article. This one is a good example, where the discussion after the article is as informative as the article.
      So…to RF…keep ’em coming!

    • LOL check out this resident statist policestate cheerleader:

      Paul T. McCain says:
      August 18, 2014 at 20:09

      RF, you’ve taken your anti-cop crusade to a new low with this post. It is disgusting and reprehensible.

      Really, while no one should hold anything against you for sharing the same surname as SongBird Manchurian candidate neoCon RINO John McCain who’ve never seen a Islamist terrorist whom he didn’t want to fly to take selfies photo-op with, or actively fund and support, violating 2012 NDAA section 1021/1022 in which he himself promoted and supported, but really, WTF are you 3yrs old? Oh, so Farago’s “anti-cop”?? Wah wah mommie mommie, someone who pays for the govt servants’ salaries DARE DARE criticize your local Praetorian Guard.

      Statist delusional mental midgets who worship at the altars of the emblem of the State and its useful idiot actors, ARE the reason why every culture, in every human epoch willfully support each respective generations’ Nazi analog.

      Just because one critiques common modus operandi of a profession who operate under particular set of protocols that yield a range of predictable range of outcomes isn’t “anti-” anything, unless you’re a precocious 87yr old primate, who cannot converse with nuance.

      That said, SO WHAT the Fuck??

      One CAN be “anti-cop” and frankly, considering the open Nazi-DHS policestate atmosphere post-9/11, you’d have to be either a family member or a delusional policestate-dildofucker, to be blindly worshipful of a self-dedicated delusional collectivist ‘protected class’ who look upon their citizen EMPLOYER bosses as mere mundanes to be trampled upon.

      Frankly, with numerous, infinitely more libertarian leaning, qualified, experienced tactical instructors and schools around, like James Yeager, Pincus, Frank Proctor, et al, who the fuck wants to train with an over-weight middle aged, blind policestate worshippers, like you, McCain??

      Go back to or something, where you can verbally jerk each other off on how great state-actors are.

      Newsflash, if you ain’t got 9 digits in your Trust and/or Swiss or Cayman account, you ain’t part of the Club, and no amount of collectivist ass-licking is going to put you right with history.

      Suggest you buy yourself a set of mirrors. Or hell, perhaps crack open Frederic Bastiat’s short treatise “The Law” and find out just exactly what the role of govt was SUPPOSED to be.

      While your dickering over you sensitive cop-collectivist worshiping ego, the US Army officially thinks it’s open season on you, yes you, McCain, and every American that it arbitrarily deems to be a threat: U.S. Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33: Civil Disturbances

      Grown men, talk about what matter, not go on an emotive rant with a 5yr old playground taunt worthy of SPLC and AIPAC propagandist monkeys.

      Seriously, how old are you? Like 63?? And you ‘talk’ like that? You’re an embarrassment to the human race, McCain. If you don’t like TTAG or its proprietor Farago, STFU and GTFO.

      You’re literally a dime a dozen. You’re like the idiot who’ve never left their zip code, never encountered different opinions, nor even able to principally defend the premise upon which why you say what you say, and why others would say what they would say.

      Your statement is 100% indicative of an emotive empty walking bio-matter filth vessel. If you exhibited qualitatively principled rebuttal to Farago, it’s one thing, but for a man with visible online presence to retort with this childish nonsense:

      RF, you’ve taken your anti-cop crusade to a new low with this post. It is disgusting and reprehensible.

      …deluding it’s actually a worthy comment or rebuttal? Just WTF do you think it really says about you, McCain??

      You are really a one sad, sad little thing, aren’t you, McCain??

    • The bad guy was without a doubt a bad guy…… a fellon fleeing a crime
      There was a day in the not too distant past in the late 80’s that shooting a fleeing fellon was a justifiable shooting….

      The more important thing to know now is that this entire aftermath has been carefully orchestrated in an attempt to divide America again the lying news media is trying to push this in the exact same direction they tried to push the trayvon martin shooting

      You can already see the news agencies lying spreading hate and racial strife because this is what OBAMA wants so he and eric holder can use this to allow them to declare martial law….. And then do the planned gun grab followed by turning control over to the UN


  1. BROWN was on DRUGS and a BIG 300 pound guy,, If he was going after the policeman and I feel he was… the police officer only had seconds to stop the attack and save his own life ,,,SORRY I support the POLICE…………

    • As far as we know, Brown had only pot in his system, just like 25% of people his age and half of Colorado. The metabolites can stay in the system for a long time. And as someone who went to college in the 60s and did not live in a cave, I can say that I don’t recall anyone getting violent after toking up. On the contrary.

      If Brown was a violent punk — if — it certainly wasn’t because he puffed a doobie.

      • Actually, marijuana can cause aggression in a minority of people. It is fairly common that it causes paranoia and/oranxiety, even panic too.

        And in some people the reaction to that is aggression. Note I am certainly not talking about everyone. Though of course the marijuana of your day stands to the marijuana of today was watered down beer to everclear…ok maybe an exagerration, but THC levels are far higher today than back then. And while there is no evidence that marijuana generally increases aggression, aggressive responses are well documented in some subjects…things affect people differently after all.

        • I have no idea as to the potency of marijuana after 1968. But I do know that the more someone smoked, the more likely they were to stare at clouds and say thing like “groovy,” or similar sh1t.

    • Well why don’t we just settle this mess by going to the dashcam/on-body video…….oh yeah…..this police department has MRAPs but apparently can’t buy a $300 GoPro.

      As Mark Steyn has recently written………

      In 2014, when a police cruiser doesn’t have a camera, it’s a conscious choice. And it should be regarded as such.

      • You need to walk the street at night with a big sign …I am unarmed and put a bigger sign at the front of your house NO GUNS HERE… Bet you do not live out 2014!

        • @LMO …and what the heck does your comment have to do with the negligent lack of video from the car?

      • Outfitting a department with the cameras and systems for video-recording will be more expensive than what they pay for an MRAP.

        • Um… Bullshit. An MRAP retails at $550,000. That’s enough to buy four cameras for every officer on the force at retail price.

        • Hmmmm….you’re saying a dashcam is more expensive than calling out the National Guard?

          Second…kindly provide link for how dashcams are more expensive than litigation?

          Third…there’s not a community in the U.S. that wouldn’t vote for a dashcam adder on their tax bill.

        • Fpd has dashcams. They never bothered installing them.

          Like originally said……Not an oversight but rather a conscious choice

        • I’ll take you word for it because it’s not worth my time to fact check you…… but OTOH it doesn’t matter because as another commenter posted above…..apparently the had the cameras and never installed them.

          Once again …it’s a conscious choice that they don’t have cameras.

  2. All I can say, is that I’m glad Michael Brown finally gave up his life of crime, like Trayvon did a few years back.

    • Just too bad it wasn’t at the hands of the 5ft tall, 99lb storeowner, that would’ve been REAL “justice”.

  3. I wonder ( no evidence one way or the other, just wondering) if when Brown was on top of Wilson and if he indeed tried to grab Wilson’s gun, he might have at that point attempted to elevate it to lethal force since he felt Brown was attempting to take it and drawn, albeit somewhat ineffectively, and tried to take a shot at him while Brown was still on top of him.

    Again, just speculation

    • One way to check the validity of that is to look for a hole in the cruiser door or the parked car(s) beside them.

      • I would think it more likely in that situation, he would have been shooting at an upward angle, due to Brown’s height and the likelihood of getting knocked down/back against the SUV. So if that shot missed Brown, it’s probably about 5 miles away from the crime scene.

    • Unlikely, Brown’s body didn’t have any GSR on it. That’s impossible if he was in close proximity to a firearm being fired.

      • I’m in close proximity to firearms being fired all the time. GSR doesn’t work that way. You basically need to be hit at contact range for any significant residue to be produced by a pistol. A near miss will leave nothing unless it also puts a hole in your clothes.

        • Bullshit. You’re confusing GSR with stippling. GSR gets everywhere when a gun is fired. It’s why your hands are dirty as hell after a day at the range.

  4. I have been listening to a lot of theories concerning this shooting. My coworker said that the guy was probably a criminal and was probably resisting arrest so the cop will probably be acquitted. I told him at least part of his theory was probably right.

  5. “Notice that the shots all landed left. Chances are Officer Wilson had too much finger on the trigger. Which reflects either poor training, low skill, high stress or some combination thereof. Not that it makes any difference, but one wonders how many shots Officer Wilson fired in total.”

    Im sorry but the last thing on my mind if a 6′ 4″, 300 pound dude is bum rushing me is how much of my finger is on the trigger…

    • Finger placement is vital. He was likely trained to do it right and should have practiced it. It should have been second nature.

      • Yeah, because even the best trained soldiers and Marines, who may fire tens of thousands of rounds in training (if an MG gunner) always do everything right their first time in combat.

  6. It’s looking like a dead criminal to me. Maybe don’t rob stores and bum rush police officers and you won’t get shot.

    And I disagree with your assessment about close in lethal force. I’ve got all sorts of weapons on my gun belt, and if a robber is reaching for any of them I will assume he’s not doing so to make friends.

    • Yeah, I didn’t get that part at all. Is TTAG saying that the police can only match force with equal force? If that were true, no arrests would ever be possible and everyone would resist arrest. Show me the law or legal precedent that Farago is referring to when he says ” If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.” I call bullshit on that and I call this website the bullshit about guns.

      • Yeah, absolutely right. I mean, I think RF is right about what happened–the cop drew his gun to defend himself and the punk went for it–but he’s clearly wrong about the law. Moreover, by assaulting and battering the cop I believe under most state laws the kid committed a felony and indicated intent to inflict great bodily harm or death by going for the gun. The cop was then in “stop dangerous fleeing felon who could be a danger to the community” mode, so obviously he’s not gonna reholster–what kinda fool would he have to be? I would speculate–and no doubt we’ll learn about this later–that the cop may have fired a warning shot, and that may have caused the kid to turn. No matter what departmental policy on warning shots might be, the kid had no right to charge the cop.

      • Yea idk where Robert got that bs. So he can’t defend himself with a firearm while he is being assaulted? I have a feeling if it wasn’t a cop Robert would title this as, “DGU of the day.” Ppl are getting tired of your schtick.

    • It’s looking like a dead criminal to me.

      I’m thinking that any dead guy in the street with a cop standing over him would look like a dead criminal to every other cop.

    • Yeah, I’m not sure where RF is coming from on this. Everyone on here knows I’m more than willing to be critical when police do dumb things, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. As soon as that guy attacked the officer then reached for the officer’s weapon, he took the situation to another level. When he left the situation then turned and charged the officer, the officer had a reasonable expectation that he was facing the threat of death or serious bodily injury.

      • Robert needs to turn in his (sporting only use of guns) all his guns and put a big 6 ft. sign out front of his house no guns here………..The Anti-s will love you move LEFT……

  7. Michael Brown was eighteen, and his possible juvenile record presumably sealed. The fact that he “has no record” doesn’t mean he hadn’t committed any crimes.

    There’s discussion in the background of a youtube video where someone is questioning an eye witness which supports the idea that Michael Brown was running toward the officer when he was shot.

    • Speaking of records, a white cop working in a primarily black area for 6 years generates ZERO complaints?

      The only way to pull that feat off is NOT using excessive force and treating people with respect.

      • or by not doing anything…

        But keep in mind I’m pretty sure every cop gets complaints. His disciplinary record likely only would contain sustained complaints, ones that he was found by the department to have acted unprofessionally.

  8. If a 300 pound guy attacks me I am more than justified in swiss cheesing that fat f**k simply because he has 100 pounds on me. Unless Mr. Wilson is equally large he is also justified in shooting a 300 pound attacker, armed or otherwise.

  9. What if Brown reached into the car for Wilson? Eyewitnesses, however biased and inaccurate they may be, did state that Wilson was attempting to pull Brown into the car. That makes no sense, but it would make sense if Brown was attempting to pull Wilson from the car. I’m a few inches shorter than Brown, and if he were attempting to pull me from my car I probably would have drawn my weapon.

    Further, LEO firearm qualification drills often require a quick draw-aim-fire scenario that could have been the muscle memory that was triggered (please pardon that pun).

    As for shooting to the left, it’s possible that having allegedly been punched in the eye, Wilson wasn’t seeing quite straight. And, had I just been punched in the eye by someone that probably has me by 4-6 inches and 80+ pounds, I may very well keep that weapon at high-ready.

    Just my $0.02

    • One reason most shots fall on the victim’s right side (shooter’s left) is that the human body when injured has a Limbic response to turn away from the cause of the injury.

      If the first shot hit him in the (Shooter’s) left pec (or even the low neck), then that might have cause Brown to turn slightly away (to his right) which left the next 3 to 4 rounds to strike him in the right arm ( and low left pec). Had Brown not “flinched” away, they would have struck left-side, chest to abdomen. The neck to head shots where probably done as he got closer to the Officer.

      This Limbic response has also played parts in justified shootings where bullet entry holes have been found in attacker’s backs… even though the shooter claim the attacker was always facing them when they fired. Being hit by a bullet cause the subject to instinctively spin away from the cause of pain, and with multiple hits the body can keep up that spinning motion until it has traveled a total 360 degrees (or more) around, thus resulting in entry wounds in other places besides their frontal area. Things happen so fast and with such stress that the shooter often doesn’t even realize their attacker is spinning as they are hit.

  10. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.”

    Uh… no, not at all.There is absolutely nothing in any law that says a police officer can only draw a weapon on an armed assailant. The idea itself is actually ridiculous, given the disparities in weight and fighting ability between different people.

    “Note: a police officer answers to a higher standard of legal lethal force than a non-law enforcement officer. Wilson would have to prove that he was in imminent danger of death or grievous harm, that imminence was imminent, and there was nothing else he could have done other than draw his firearm.”

    Three things.
    1) Someone can be in imminent danger of great harm by unarmed combat.
    2) If Brown had reached for the officer’s gun he was demonstrating intent to disarm him, significantly elevating the threat if the officer were to lose control.
    3) This is another failure to understand the law as it comes to uses of force. There is nothing in law or caselaw that signifies a police officer must exhaust every option before drawing a firearm (or even firing it). The supreme court has been clear that the standard is not one of last resort but one of reasonableness. One cannot possibly figure out if there is no other recourse without getting killed (and thereby realizing that you had to shoot). See Graham v. Connor.

    I know this isn’t a legal thesis but these statements (especially the first I quoted) are outlandishly wrong.

    • I’ve removed the offending passage. The information was provided by a law enforcement official but not cross-checked.

      • Not just for police but for even for civilians, most states do not have a requirement that the attacker have a weapon for you to be able to use yours. Obvious case in point, the Zimmerman case. Most states have a law that matches or is similar to Florida’s. In fact just recently posted on this site about the AZ carjacking, the attacker in that story had no known weapon. Also are the elderly, disabled, and women expected to just lay there and continued to be assaulted or let themselves get assaulted to begin with by an attacker simply because they don’t have a weapon? No. That’s why most states have such laws.

      • Shit happens and not everyone has to know this crap to walk out the door. Thumbs up for the correction.

  11. “Brown, eighteen-years-old at the time of his death, didn’t have a criminal record have a criminal record . ” FYI this may be incorrect. There’s some reporting that he had a juvenile record involving a murder charge.

  12. “Note: a police officer answers to a higher standard of legal lethal force than a non-law enforcement officer. Wilson would have to prove that he was in imminent danger of death or grievous harm, that imminence was imminent, and there was nothing else he could have done other than draw his firearm.”
    A man assaulting a police officer is no small event. The effect of the firearm to get the other person to back away from him (without firing a single shot) does not count as lethal force in my opinion.

    The shots landed high left because that is what happens when you slap the trigger repeatedly. In stressful situation, he isn’t going to think about proper trigger pull. No one will perform 100% with adrenaline rushing.

  13. If you strike a cop, know the weapon is coming out. The gun is his friend and closest companion.

    • When I got my gun from the academy on 04/13/01, I named it “Dana” after a beautiful woman from high school with the same name who got 1st place on a 5K run (in the ladies division). My current gun is “D2.”

    • I think you got it right there, JB. Anybody who asks my opinion about this gets the same answer. Hitting a cop is Russian roulette, except with 2+ rounds in the barrel. You MIGHT not get shot, but you’re taking a real big risk.

  14. Thank goodness Brown had a criminal record. It makes me feel better about accusing him of deserving to die.

    • The fact that he is a criminal just informs that he might make choices that make it more likely that he dies in a police shooting, not that he ‘deserves’ to die.

  15. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. ”

    Ummmm no he wouldn’t. Drawing a weapon while being physically assualted would not be legally in the wrong in anyway at all… Are you just looking to paint the cop bad here?

    I dont know what happened. I wasnt there. I dont like the militarization of the police and I dont like the benefit of the doubt they get compared to any other citizen in this country. BUT this statement made me stop reading the article.

    • Likewise. It was an idiotic statement. No point in reading further the legal opinions of someone who clearly doesn’t know the law.

  16. If he was shooting low and left as a righty, would it not be not enough trigger? He was pushing the trigger instead of covering and squeezing rearward. Secondly, unless he was armed with a taser, baton or pepper spray, what other means did he have to protect himself when Brown charged? We’ve seen what a knockout punch can do to someone.

  17. Look, I’ll cut to the chase since others won’t–I’ll side with a white cop over a black guy 100 percent of the time.

    • As a white cop who is 5’9 and about 175 pounds, I say thanks for the vote of confidence. However I’ll side with whoever is doing the right thing. It’s pretty obvious that a strong armed robbery and assaulting a police officer after doing so constitute wrong things.

      If I’m getting bum rushed by a 300 pound teenager who just sucker punched me I’ll probably respond with 180 grain JHPs. Race doesn’t have anything to do with the equation.

    • Pretty sure this comment is racist. I understand prejudice exists, but this comment does not add to this discussion.

    • Right on, that actually makes a lot more sense than siding with a criminal who just committed a violent assault 10 seconds ago, like this guy and Trayvon before him. I think you are finally starting to get it.

    • Wow Lumberg; you belong over at Stormhole or whatever cesspit the Arryan Brotherhood dwells at.

  18. Violent thug Mike “Brown eighteen-years-old at the time of his death, didn’t have a criminal record” are you friggin’ kiddin me?

    The fact is just like in the case of Zimmerman attacker, Trayvon Martin (and Barack Obama), Mike Brown’s “juvenile record” had been SEALED under orders from Atty Gen Eric “My People” Holder.

    In the real world the state prosecutor and the Grand Jury would declare this incident a “justifiable homey-cide”. This case should NEVER see a courtroom but the Democrat-backed racehustlers will see that it does in an attempt to enrich themselves, advance the Liberal narrative in time for Nov’s elections (which they’re going to lose), while at the same time espousing the idea White police officers are precluded from having any interaction with Black suspects.

    If, more like when, the legal lynching (trial) of decorated police officer, Darren Wilson, commences, we WILL learn of the 6′ 4″ tall, 300+lb, criminal gene bearing Son of Obama Mike Brown’s NUMEROUS run-in’s with the law as a “chile”.

    There is a reason this thug wasn’t living with either his “mother” or “father” and had been staying with his grandmother in Ferguson, probably to duck his probation officer or to get him away from his gangbanging pals on the streets.

      • ….and you’re a cowardly weasel. I ain’t (sic) ashamed to say what I believe or share analysis/facts, why are you?. Got Skittles? No? Get some!

  19. Sorry, read your comment above about how it was removed because it was an LE supplying the info but not cross checked.

  20. although the bad guy ended up dead, the good guy has a bigger responsibility not to kill unless necessary. for the common man, it’s easy as pulling the trigger in self-defense (or stand your ground). for a police officer, it’s not so simple.

    besides, as a cop, saying “it was self-defense” just sounds lame. you don’t “defend” yourself, you “serve and protect” and, “enforce the law”. so, use force decisively and know that when you do, there’s no going back.

    • Cops carry guns for self defense. The supreme court backed that up. They have no obligation to serve and protect. That is merely a slogan on the police car to make the community feel better about them.

  21. “A police officer answers to a higher standard of legal lethal force than a non-law enforcement officer.” I don’t think so, Stimpy. The 2 cops that shot up the mother/daughter newspaper delivery team were held to a very low standard. Countless times the police shoot an innocent or compliant suspects with nary a charge brought against them.

  22. “Note: a police officer answers to a higher standard of legal lethal force than a non-law enforcement officer. “


    I don’t think that is correct. Ability. Opportunity. Jeopardy.

    “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. “


    For the umpty-thousandth time, unarmed is, by itself, irrelevant.

    There’s two very big things that need to be kept in mind when discussing this case or any like it.

    (1) Totality of circumstances.

    You don’t get to cherry pick which aspects of the situation fit your narrative. It’s the whole story that matters.

    One dimension of that totality is the disparity of force.

    (2) Objective Reasonableness as outlined by the court in Graham vs Connor.

    This means the circumstances and state of mind of the person being “tried” are to be measured by what a reasonable person would have thought in that situation, at that time.

    You / we don’t get to play Monday Morning Quarterback and second guess those decisions. What we have to do is “put ourselves there” and try to imagine what we would have done.

    So, Robert, the question is not what you ideally think he SHOULD have done. The question is, honestly now, what would YOU have done if

    (a) You knew the big guy had just beaten someone
    (b) The big guy had just assaulted you or was in the act of assaulting you
    (c) The big guy was reaching for your gun, or you reasonably could conclude he was reaching for your gun
    (d) You were armed for the purposes of self defense.

    This is a VERY serious question. Each of us that carry need to ponder this. When to shoot is not a game.

    *IF* you put yourself into those circumstances, and you reasonably think your life may have been in danger, then all this criticism is moot.

  23. Taking the officers version, Brown is committing a forcible felony against the cop and has a significant weight advantage. How is that not justification for the cop to shoot?

  24. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

    That makes no sense to me.

  25. I have to agree with Mr. mcCain. This is an all time low sir. Who are you to “speculate” on this incident? Have you ever been a police officer? I don’t see anything in your background to say you have any training on proper police procedure. To say he should have holstered his firearm is based on what? You keep saying Officer Wilson knew he was unarmed. This is based on what, all of the information we now know? The only thing that matters is what Officer Wilson percieced at the time he was pulling that trigger. So long as he felt his life was in danger of death or serious bodily harm from that theiving, dope smoking POS Brown, then Officer Wilson is justified. Go read what the “Reasonable Officer” standard is my friend and quit Monday Morning Quarterbacking an incident you are less than qualified to make any statement about…

  26. All I know for sure is that if anyone of us ever shoots an unarmed person…. we are going straight to jail and it is up to us to prove we had a good reason to shoot.

    I would expect a Police Officer to have some basic hand to hand combat training and be competent enough to use it… more so then a civilian in the same situation.

    It seems to me the Civilian are held to a higher standard then Police where shootings are involved. It should be the opposite.

    I also believe that they have more then a gun strapped to their utility belt… they have a baton.

    Someone might say why should the officer take a risk of hand to hand combat. Perhaps a civilian should not… but the job of Police Officer implies certain risks and dangers.

    Lastly… all this proves to me is that we need…. Less Cops and More Armed Citizens.

    • ” I would expect a police officer to have some basic hand to hand combat training and be competent enough to use it” LOL. You mean like some Steven Segal shit? The suspect was 6’4 and in the neighborhood of 300 pounds. That who flung who shit works much better on TV than in real life. You get attacked by a suspect that size and the situation gets desperate in a hurry. Hand to hand combat. Go back to watching Duck Dynasty pal.

  27. Was ttag hacked? What kind of be article us this? Might as well pull out the magic 8 ball and and ask it questions. What is next, your ” versions of the Lincoln, Kennedy, and Reagan shootings? Did Boothe have too much finger in the trigger?

  28. Probably the DUMBEST “analysis” I’ve heard to date. So, according to you, the officer, knowing he had a level III holster, should have just allowed this massive assailant to continue punching him in the face until he was knocked out cold. I can see it now. “Go ahead, big guy. Beat me into unconsciousness. I won’t try to unholster my gun. And even if you do knock me out, you’ll never get my gun out of the holster. It’s a level III, you big dummy. So I’ll just lay here unconscious and let you have at it.” Really stupid. No person in his right mind would react like you suggest.

  29. I firmly believe in police accountability, but all this is just speculation. We have to wait and see all the evidence in its entirely. If and when all the evidence suggests murder and no action is taken then let the people’s dismay be heard. Until then we are fanning the flames no differently than when the anti’s seek to lynch one of us.

  30. If there was a scuffle induced ND, then find the bullet hole in the street/roof of the car/ etc. Find evidence of that, and the punch in the face, and this story seems a whole lot more plausible than anything else floating around and unfortunately still paints the officer in a pretty bad light. Presumably if he was approaching a suspicious person who fits the description of a crime reported, wouldnt he report that? Why was he so cavalier? Also kind of weird it took so log to come out though, seems like with all the threats and accusations this would be the first story to come out.

  31. The bottom line is that since none of us were present when the altercation took place, this is all speculation. Evidence will come to light regarding what really transpired, and a judgement will be make by the courts. Until that time, everybody needs to chill.
    What I do know is that the riots and anarchy that has taken place in the streets cannot be allowed. Sharpton and others that fan the flame of hate need to shut up. This is exactly what took place after the Zimmerman shooting which turned out to be justified.

  32. Law Enforcement Officers are trained to lie. That is part of the training. If they don’t lie, they can’t be trusted so they lose their job. Why? How is this logical?

    First, in most City’s there is a City Attorney. Its that Attorney’s job to protect that City no matter if the issue is truly misconduct, or not. Most of the time if a Law Enforcement Officer sees a pier violate policy or the law, they will lie to cover up the event and “save” their brothers job and save the City’s money.

    Cost the City, lose your job! Refuse to lie, lose your job. Admit you know that acts were outside the scope of the rules or law, your gone. Cross these rules, you cross the City Attorney. All Governments have power struggles within. That is unless you only hire family into the pubic job market in positions of authority. Having the branches come back to a stump increases audacity to lie without consequence.

    Law enforcement is a fraternity first. The thin blue line represents the brotherhood of law enforcement.

    That thin Blue Line has been crossed because of the failure to properly train. This lack results in a Macho Man mentality. One where the Law Enforcement Officer must have or they feel in-superior. Training not only need to be more focused on public communication, but also stress that We the People have rights that limit their power. They should return to the mentality that they are public servants. Not public overseers. Free people do not need oversight. Free people govern themselves. That system is in place, but when everybody has crossed the line, so no one can step forward to start a true cleansing of the corruption. Its circular. Never-ending.

    Corruption breads more corruption.

    • What a load of crap. Hey, you know what’s worse than losing money for the city? Losing your career because you lie about anything and can never do any policework again because of the Brady rule.

    • You may have some valid points. Unfortunately, with all of your spelling mistakes and grammar issues, I couldn’t focus on your message. If you wish to be taken seriously, learn to spell.

  33. Robert

    Gotta throw BS flag on you. 2 things:

    1) NO WHERE has it been indicated that Wilson knew these thugs were unarmed. No where. Just b/c they pulled a strong arm robbery (without a weapon) DOES NOT mean they were without one. Sorry edge to cop. Assume perp who punched me is strapped

    2) Officers DO NOT sit in their cars w their batons on. They cannot. They put them on AFTER getting out of vehicle. So if he is giving chase, he can’t yell “wait, let me put on my baton”. So maybe he had a taser to use but if cop has been assaulted by 2 individuals, he can pull the weapon and point it.

    As for the 6’4 “youth” there was a shoplifting incident last year @ ferguson home depot. 4 black you walked out and someone tried to stop them. They beat him w a hammer. One of the punks looks just like brown’s friend, dorian jonhnson (same dreads (popular hairdo here in the ‘Lou) and appears same neck tat). There is a really huge phucker in the surveillance photo that may be brown. Let’s address this. If the kid showed violence in the strong arm robbery, that wasn’t his first rodeo. If he then figures to shoot cop, he is going down. Period.

  34. Pray tell, what is your actual authority (case law, statute or administrative rule) for the following gem:

    “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

    Your statement indicates being in a position of disadvantage, eg, having freedom of movement restrained, resulting in one being unable to defend oneself, cannot alter the proper modes of self defense. I am reasonably confident hell will freeze over before you produce authority to that effect. But, in any case, I will wait, and wait, and wait.

    • May I suggest you consult the Missouri use of force statutes (RSMO section 506)(IIRC) about your statement of “justification”?

  35. So you all think an unarmed man already wounded by eye witness accounts thought it better to do a fake surrender and rush a cop with a gun pointed at him?

    So wait, all the eye witnesses saying that he didn’t rush the officer (more than several) are lying about what they saw? All of them..really?

    Since all we are really doing at this point is speculating I will provide my quick and dirty theory. I think the cop got pissed after being punch and probably shot the kid up…

    • Since those same witnesses said he got shot in the back, a statement now proven forensically to be false, I wouldn’t be surprised. Especially since the main ‘witness’ was actually Brown’s accomplice during their little robbery.

      • No doubt the other criminal fellow’s account is the least credible, but there are others that are completely independent / separate from his account that are consistent on the key details. Also, I think you are mistaken as nothing has been forensically proven one way or the other at this point. Entry and exit details haven’t been confirmed. Further to that point, even if they don’t find back entry wounds, doesn’t mean the officer is not shooting at his back. Just sayin….

    • Yes, actually. I do think they were all lying.

      For one, they said he was shot in the back. He wasn’t.

      Two, they said he had his hands up, but the trajectory of the round that went through his arm says otherwise. A bullet won’t go down the length of your arm if it’s raised perpendicular to the round being fired. His hands were out in front of him as if he were grabbing at something or using them to create distance.

      Third, these same “witnesses” were friends and neighbors of Brown and said he was a nice kid while the video showing him assaulting a store clerk proves otherwise. There is a reason that close family members’ statements are taken with a grain of salt by police officers. People lie for their friends. Add to that a white man shooting a black man and you have the “us vs. them” mentality kicking in to cause people to come out of the woodwork to help someone they consider to be an “us.”

      So yeah, we think they were lying. Sociology says that they are likely to lie in this situation and the facts as they have been shown by professionals says that they, in fact, did lie.

      • Forrest – interesting bias you have there. Fine.

        My experience in an inner city that has a notorious nickname that rhymes with Iraq has been different. Cop shoots happen all the time, literally several a month at a minimum I would guess. No one ever sticks up for the perp…never. And that seems logical to me. I bet 99.9% of the time, Cops are shooting thugs. No one ever argues that point except for the honor student’s mom or something. In this instance down in STL, this cop shoot has struck a nerve you don’t normally see… it just makes me wonder. People without a dog in the hunt are coming out of the wood works on this.

      • You guys also have taken a shot at my first question – the fake surrender bum rush… what’s that all about?

        • If we don’t take the witness’s account at face value we don’t necessarily need to consider if he ‘fake-surrendered’.

          That said, he wouldn’t be the first person to choose poorly and think someone with a gun wouldn’t shoot. He’s big and probably used to getting his way.

    • Every time a criminal is killed by a police officer and Jackson / Sharpton / Holder turn it into a civil rights case, witnesses lie.

      The CHIEF WITNESS eventually admitted that her entire take on the events was a lie, and her testimony was discounted completely. Any time a black man is shot by a white officer, his entire community rises up and says the phrase we love to hear, “he was a good boy”. They pretend he doesn’t have a criminal record (thank you, Holder), pretend that isn’t him on video robbing a store, etc.

      Next one! The widow’s first thing to say was “he never did anything, HE WAS A GOOD BOY.” Ten minutes later “I wish he killed more cops!”.

      Witnesses lie all the time.

      • I read somewhere “Everyone lies to police. The guilty lie because they have to. The innocent lie because they think they have to. The witnesses lie for no reason in particular except perhaps the gleeful rush of screwing with an investigation.”

    • There is at least one eye witness whose testimony supports the cop. If you listen to the background conversations on one of the “eyewitness videos” (taken after the events), the guy taking the video gives the now-standard “shot in the back for no good reason!” story, going on the people who saw he was taping. But the conversation between two people who DON’T know they’re being taped tells a whole different story.

      And, as has been said, most of the supposed eye witnesses testified he’d been shot in the back, and died while surrendering. I have been wondering ever since I first saw a photo of the body why, if he was shot in the back, there was no blood on the back of his white t-shirt, and why, if he was just standing there while being shot multiple times, he fell so neatly forward. Bullets may not have the impact in real life that they do on the screen, but they do pack a wallop, plus people tend to twist toward those bullets when hit. If he were just standing there when shot, I would have expected him to fall back or to the side, his head pointing some other direction. The fact that he fell so neatly, face down, his head pointing at the cop car (thus, presumably, at the shooting cop) doesn’t fit well. The autopsy also supports the cop’s version — if he’s shooting while being rushed, that head shot makes perfect sense. If his last shot was while Micheal Brown was in the act of falling, then the fact that there was a shot to the top of Michael’s head, but not to his back, means the cop stopped shooting once his attacker was clearly going down. Assuming he had more bullets, that is.

      I am no pathologist, and the actual facts likely won’t come out until the trial, but I still have serious doubts whether the evidence is going to support the supposed eye witnesses who’ve gotten the most press time. At the very least, the cop’s story is equally credible at this point.

  36. “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.”

    Missouri law allows the use of deadly force to stop a violent felony and a violent assault on a LEO is a felony in Missouri.

    The narrative about Wilson realizing Brown and Johnson were suspects in a violent felony (strong-arm robbery is a felony in Missouri) and then pulling his vehicle to within a couple of feet of them, where they could block him from getting out of his vehicle, is tactically ridiculous. A sound approach to multiple violent felony suspects is to create distance between the officer and the suspects and for the officer to have his weapon at the ready.

    • Consider an alternate series of events: The officer pulls up to the two men at first not realizing they just robbed a place. He is addressing the fact that they are in the street blocking traffic. However Brown doesn’t know this and assumes that the officer is coming after him for the felony robbery. The officer is thinking he’s just going to tell these two knuckleheads to get off the street while said knuckleheads think he’s about to throw them in big-boy jail and act quite a bit differently than the officer would expect.

      Another possibility is that he stopped them for the jaywalking but then realized they were the suspects in the robbery after contacting them. He’s already been ‘made’ and has now stepped in it and tries to recover but the gig is up and big boy knows it.

  37. “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.”

    I stopped reading right here because *you* are wrong. The right to self defense does not require that the assailant be armed; in fact, a guy over 6 feet tall and weighing 300 lbs – as Michael Brown was – is capable of killing you with his bare hands.

    Get a little smarter on the law in regards to self-defense and police procedures and maybe I’ll finish the article.

    • I was pretty shocked to read that inaccuracy. Most states do indeed have laws justifying use of weapons in defense against a weaponless opponent for even civilians. None the less officers. Probably the poorest article I’ve ever read on this site.

    • Same here. Go attack a cop in Ferguson, MO, St. Louis, MO, Houston, TX, or even Mayberry RFD, for that matter, and see what happens. You’re apt to get shot. Repeatedly.

      Female cops are notorious for resorting to their sidearm rather than go mano a mano with some full size male aggressor. We all know the stats about how frequently people are killed with nothing more than what the FBI characterizes as “personal weapons”, meaning hands, feet and other body parts. A person can be mortally wounded with a single punch, and not just from a professional fighter.

      If someone is already suspected of robbery and assault, and upon contact with the peace officer that person then commits assault and battery upon the officer, then that officer has every reason to regard that person as likely armed and obviously extremely dangerous. Add into the mix an attempt to disarm the officer, and well, boom.

      • Cops do have less-lethal options but what people don’t realize is that those options are most useful for people resisting arrest. In other words, people just trying not to get arrested by pushing the cop away and running away. When someone is carrying out a dedicated physical assault on a police officer who has a firearm on their hip, things can get bad quickly.

  38. Amazing analysis. I think the NSA should pull the satellite footage just to make sure you nailed every detail.

    • Wrong! NSA only has the audio.
      NGA, that’s National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, for you Keyboard Commandos, takes the pictures.

      I will leave it to the reader as an exercise why the agency has three letters.

  39. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

    Huh? I personally feel like this paragraph is hollow. If we were to examine the idea that assault by one on another, never legitimizes the use of deadly force, then wouldn’t the use of a firearm to defend oneself from an attacker intending rape be also unjustified? In a more civilized time we could have simply scheduled a duel using predetermined weapons and at a predetermined location. That said, I am not very civilized as I would never show up to what could result in my demise.

  40. “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.”


    While being attacked is a clearly a time to draw your weapon, cop or not.

    Look, I am 6’3″, I could easily cripple or kill a smaller person if I attacked them unarmed. Just because someone doesn’t have a weapon does not mean they are not a lethal threat.

    I routinely get accused of being a cop basher elsewhere for my opinions, mostly that they have no greater right to go home at night than I do, but that does not mean they have less of one either.

  41. Just stop, Robert. You’re a freaking idiot and you should shut your mouth while you’re behind.

    First, how do you know that the officer KNEW Brown was unarmed? I can’t tell from anything that you’ve written that he was. Just that he didn’t draw a weapon. Not having a weapon in your hand is NOT the same thing as being unarmed.

    Second, not a single one of the shots “landed left” as you claimed. The picture is the same as if you were looking down at a body on a table. They all landed right.

    Third, an 18 year old could well have a record, even a violent one, and nobody would know a thing about it as long as his last arrest and conviction happened before his 18th birthday. Juvie records are not open to the public for good reason, but it does not mean that they do not exist.

    You frequently write absolute anti-cop drivel and I simply cannot believe TTAG keeps you around. You’re just as bad as the guy who posted photos of “rubber bullets,” stating facts before checking them out for yourself and that makes this whole site look worse that it should.

    Editors: Please distance yourself from someone who can’t even tell his left from his right and makes judgments based on those misinterpretations of fact that are clearly laid out on paper. Sure, he may have a good sentence from time to time, but the mistakes he has made have far outpaced his skill at writing.

    • Um, shots hitting the right side of the target’s body means they were pulled left from the shooter’s perspective.

    • Empty hands over the head is a clue that a weapon is not going to be used, the clear advantage going to the man with the weapon drawn and aimed.

      No man is going to pull a gun, aim it, and pull a trigger in the time it takes another to only pull a trigger.

      • You wouldn’t because you think rationally. Irrational people (and they do exist) mght even bum rush someone with a gun pointed at them. He almost made it too had it not been for the fatal head shot. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and certainly don’t go unnarmed at all to a gun fight. If you try to fight a cop, you are in a gun fight.

  42. See the shark. Watch RF jump it gleefully to satisfy his pathological hatred of cops.

    For a brief time there I had hopes that TTAG was truly a gun rights and pro constitution blog. Sadly, it appears the captain is willing to sink the ship to purge his own personal demons.

  43. RF, I’m normally very with you on most of your posts, but here you are really out of your depth.

  44. You sir are an idiot. You know nothing about police work or how an officer would react. 1. Yes Mike Brown could get the officers gun out. There are countless videos and reports of thugs training for exactly that. Now if a 6’4 350lb person is punching you in the head while you are trapped instead your patrol car, of course you’re going to pull your gun and end the threat. 2. The officer has NO IDEA if Brown is armed or not. That’s your ASSumption.
    3. After being beaten OF COURSE you’re not going to re-holster, the threat is not over.
    4. It seems you think the officers should start at square one and let this giant beat him to an unconscious state and/or beat him to death. You do know you can beat a person to death?
    5.. You’re an asshat.

  45. To repeat from an early post there are three types of people who post/write on this site.

    (1) Trigger pullers — LEOS and those who have experience as a combat infantryman.

    (2) REMFs — Those who support the trigger pullers

    (3) Keyboard Commandos/Range Cowboys

    There are not many in category 1 and 2.

      • I was known as a “know-it-all” in high school. When the ACT tests came back it was revealed I had perfect scores on three out of the four tests. Some jerk you like came up to me at that time and said I guess you really do know it all.

        Now, sport, I have counseled Robert in public and in a private E-mail to wait for the evidence before making a judgment since day one. So sport, just as it was in high school, which was very long ago, it appears that your assessment of me is quite accurate but not quite in the way that you think.

        My guess is that you fall into both group 3 and a 5th category called idiot.

      • Postscript:

        I just finishd reading Patrick Hayes’ article and felt my response really belongs here to BoBs. If you notice Patrick makes two of the same points I previously have made so I guess that while I may be an asshat, you will have to concede that I I am a knowledgeable asshat.

    • tdiinva; so unless you are a “trigger puller” sanctioned by the state, or “REMF” paid by the state; then you are just a”Keyboard Commado/Range cowboys”?

      So lt sounds like your saying tdiinv; if your a citizen; then you nothing but an object of contempt. If this is what you are saying, then know you a symptom of a disease our founding fathers warned us about. The disease of the sense of superiority that develops by those “public servants” that actually see themselves as the masters over us the contemptible “civilians”.

      And so when those “public servants/Masters” are commanded by their “superiors” (those that pay their check) they will enforce unconstitutional laws against those they having nothing but contempt for; you know, the people.

      You; and your attitude is the reason that what was once a republic like Rome fell to a tyrant like Ceasar, because the centurions/trigger pullers enforced his tyranny.

      • What I am saying is that there a people with direct expeirence. There are people who have indirect experience and then there are all others. The people with direct or indirect experience are not necessarily currently employed in the business at hand so it has nothing to do with being a current agent of the state. I note a direct correlation between those in groups 1 & 2 and group 3 in the accuracy of their analysis of the situation in Ferguson. People in the first two group generally got it right while many in group 3 got it wrong. I will leave it to you as an exercise to figure out why that is so.

  46. @RF, wow….if it’s Monday, it must be uet another “know it all” post from RF that of course is decidedly anti-gun and anti-cop. Keep the leftist spew coming RF. You would hate to disappoint the mouth breathers.

  47. There are some comments that seem to indicate that police officers can use any force the wish, whenever they wish. That just isnt true. A police officer must follow the Use of force continuum. This starts with officer presence and ends with deadly force. In most cases an officer can go one level above the force being used against him. That doesn’t mean he has to go up the ladder. He can use whatever is needed.
    It is important to note that it is most likely that the officer drew his firearm in the car. The bad guy shouldn’t have been able to get it out of his holster. I use a level III retention holster. It would be nearly impossible for anyone to get it out while i am in my patrol car.
    If the officer was in such a bad position, it makes even less sense for him to draw a firearm. Retention of a drawn firearm is far more difficult.
    If the officer choose to keep his firearm drawn, thus limiting his options, then he must justify that. If he was in fact in fear for his life then the shoot was per se valid.
    Im sure the officer had other choices on the force continuum. Taser, Baton, Pepper spray. If he was holstered these would have been possible. Did he create the deadly force situation?
    When it comes down to it, Brown threatened the officer. He made that choice. If the officer feared for his life then Brown made a fatal choice.
    I have chased hundreds of suspects in my two decades of law enforcement. Never once did I do it with my gun drawn. If they stop, fall down etc……Then I draw down. If i loose sight of them and stop running..then I draw down.
    If they are running away with a gun in hand they pose a deadly threat and they can stop as commanded or they will get shot. Simple as that.
    Did the officer know, or should he have known that Brown was unarmed? Why did he limit his options to deadly force? These are the questions that he has to answer for. The whole picture will determine if his actions were justified. The racist rants of Sharpton and Jackson, Eric Holders racist ploy aside. The criminal thug rioters aside. This will be determined by the known facts. Just like Trayvon, no amount of race baiting will change that.

    • It would have been impossible to deploy a baton in the car. Pepper spray might have worked but as I’m sure you know it’s no guarantee and takes time (and would be a very unwise option in the car since the officer would also receive the effects and have to worry about the second suspect).

      If Brown was beating the officer when the officer was seated at a position of disadvantage with another suspect in the area I see it as perfectly reasonable to draw and, if necessary, use deadly force to prevent himself from being knocked out and then killed. Is that what happened? I don’t know; but it makes more sense than most of the stuff I’ve been hearing.

  48. “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.”

    Wrong. Even unarmed, a 6’4″, 300 pound man is very dangerous, especially if he is rushing an officer with an intent to get his gun. If I were in the same situation, I’d fire without hesitation.

  49. Now that Obama has “sent” AG Holder to Ferguson, does anyone think there actually will be justice? The same AG Holder who is a sycophant of Obama, who sees racism in almost everything? The same Holder who rejected audio and video tapes as well as at the scene witnesses of the New Black Panthers voter intimidation of Caucasian voters in the Philly precinct? Right. That Holder.

  50. If you’re black, you probably think that the cop is a murderer. If you’re white, you probably think that Brown had it coming. Fortunately, we don’t have a race problem in America. Do we?

    • I’m black. It looks to me like Brown charged the officer. Many of us can see that. Few will admit as much.

      Btw, from a casual reader’s perspective, HORRIBLE article.

    • I don’t think Brown had it coming, but it seems that from what we know thus far, the cop’s version is probably what happened (or at least as close as we will get to it for now). Was lethal force justified? I don’t know. If there was contact between the two, if then Brown walked away BUT later decided to turn around and charge the cop, I think he was right to defend himself.

      Most of the outrage was probably sparked by reports that Wilson shot Brown while he had his arms up, surrendering. As we learn more about this event, it seems less likely that this was the case and that Wilson thought his life was in danger, therefore, that’s why he used his gun.

      Again, I don’t know if he had a taser and if so, why he didn’t reach for it instead. It’s difficult to say if lethal force was warranted, but it also seems that Brown didn’t leave Wilson with many options.

  51. This entire post is based on no verifiable facts, and therefore serves no purpose other than bullshit drama. This post doesn’t really have anything to do with THE TRUTH ABOUT GUNS, does it?

    Shame on TTAG. Shame on RF.

  52. Upon further review I realize that this article is Robert’s way of getting back to reality after pretty much getting everything wrong about the Michael Brown shooting and its aftermath. His anti-establishment prejudices drove him off the editorial rails. Nothing wrong with having a point of view but journalistic integrity requires that the inconvenient facts be reported as well. This did not happen and it goes to credibility. So I think Robert wrote this speculative piece to square the circle in an attempt to get back on track. It is unfortunate that regaining one’s credibility takes a long time and often it never happens. That’s a pity because this blog is important to the continued expansion of gun rights. Siding with the faux Libertarians always ends up furthering the aims of the Progressive extremists and their agenda.

  53. Yep, RF jumped the shark on this. Somebody better post some gun reviews quick so the site maintains some credibility.

    And only a couple years ago, my dad was walking down the sidewalk in the Middle of Nowhere, Iowa, when he was beaten and robbed in broad daylight by an “unarmed” black youth. The local hospital called in a plastic surgeon for my dad. The idea that “unarmed” equals “not dangerous” is retarded.

  54. Officer Wilson was in the wrong for (maybe) reaching fit his firearm while being the victim of a felony assault and trapped in his car, putting him at the position disadvantage, while facing someone larger than him?

    The hell are you smoking?

  55. Well since some above have posted their hypothetical series of events, I’ll throw mine out for ridicule & scorn.
    Mike Brown robs store. This we know, he later gets stopped walking down the street, also true. He shoves or punches officer Wilson back into his patrol car.
    Okay here’s where my theory starts. Officer Wilson is on his back on the driver’s seat of his unit, Brown is on top of him beating him. Officer Wilson cannot access his taser (he’s probably laying on it), his pepper spray (either he’s laying on it too or the seat back is preventing access), and there isn’t enough roon to deploy his baton. What can he reasonably draw? His service weapon; either the sight of the weapon or the alleged warning shot / bullet wound drives Brown off his initial attack. The officer exits his car sees Brown and another walkin off probably celebrating, joking around etc. Now why the hell would a sane intelligent person holster a side arm that gives them the ability to quickly engage and halt multiple threats and go to a taser (one threat at a time), baton (good for close quarters but up against multiple assailants can be taken away and used against you), or pepper spray ( can be used as an area weapon but may not last long enough for you to subdue both people)?
    So the officer keeps his piece out gives command to halt and Brown, spurred on by his buddy no doubt, starts talkin trash then rushes the cop. Cop fires weapon shots are pulled left cause the guy is yankin that trigger hard as he can (adrenaline dumps kill fine motor control) Brown goes down and expires his buddy suddenly realizes the error of his ways and surrenders or runs off and here we are playin Monday mornin QB and half assing it because it suits our anti cop agenda right RF. Please next time think a lil more outside the cops are bad box try to find a series of events that aren’t fulfilling an agenda cause that series is probably the correct one.

    • Why would any sane individual approach two men in the middle of the night without back up? He already had backup coming in for the response to robbery. He should have waited before approaching them. People shouldn’t have to die because a stupid cop can’t be bothered to follow protocol and common sense.

      • Seriously? I mean…are you serious? You can’t be serious. Middle of the night? No no no. Read the story again. They were in the middle of the street. It was daylight. Your going to call for back up because two guys are walking in the street? And once Brown started the assault, there wasn’t time to call for back up.
        Seriously? How did you find this site? If you plan to stick around…we kind of like to hear the truth…you know…it’s in the name…The Truth About Guns…get it?

  56. The United States Supreme Court, in the case of Graham v. Connor, 490 U.S. 386, (1989), held that when engaged in situations where the use of force is necessary to effect an arrest, or to protect an officer’s life or that of another, a law enforcement officer must act as other reasonable officers would have acted in a similar, tense, rapidly evolving situation.

    If an individual attacks you, TRIES TO GRAB YOUR WEAPON, taunts you that you won’t handle the situation, and then charges you, the only legitimate assumption is that he’s going to make another grab for your weapon. If he wants your weapon, it’s likely he’s going to attempt to fire it at you. Ergo, most officers would have drawn their weapon on the individual EXACTLY as Wilson did, exactly as he was trained to do.

    • Right on the money, brother. I didn’t see your post before my own reply just after yours, but it sounds like you spent the required hours learning “Use of Force” as well.

  57. Robert, while I have great respect for you and your opinions, this is a rare exception, in that I must disagree with some of the points you’ve made here. (I must have been mistaken before, as I just re-read your bio here on the site, but I thought you were a former LEO.)

    I am a certified peace officer in my state.

    “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong.”
    -No sir. That’s not how we are trained. It’s different for LEO’s vs. non-LEO’s, because LEO’s are acting under color/force of law, in an official capacity. ANY fight with a LEO IS a fight over a gun. If you lose the fight, the bad guy gets the gun, you lose your life and innocents around may lose their lives as well.

    Charging toward an officer with a drawn weapon, there are 3 choices for the bad guy:
    1) Run away. Acceptable. No-shoot situation.
    2) Stop and surrender/comply. This is the goal.
    3) Continue advancing and get shot by the defending officer. Last resort, but better than ending up a dead cop.

    “The lethal threat is over.”
    –Wait. You said earlier there was no justification to even draw his firearm. Now you’ve just acknowledged there WAS a reasonably perceived threat, justifying the threat or use of deadly force. Remember also that “Disparity of Force” is a well-known and accepted legal, self-defense principle. Also, the AOJ Triad is met here as well.

    “It also seems clear that Officer Wilson had his gun trained on the teen when he yelled “freeze.” While that’s standard operating procedure for police on TV, that’s not normal police protocol.”
    -I hope I never say something Hollywood stupid like “Freeze!” It is however current training and practice to train your weapon on the subject while issuing verbal commands for compliance.

    There is no law that restricts when a LEO may draw his firearm and/or threaten the use of deadly force whenever he perceives a potential threat or it is necessary or to affect a lawful seizure/arrest. If a citizen complains to your chief/sheriff about your doing so, the matter will be reviewed according to your departmental policies and procedures and if you acted inappropriately, you can expect a talking to by your chief/sheriff and/or disciplinary action.

  58. I’m trying to put my self in the officers shoes, as it were.
    My duty belt was like most others. Gun at 3 o’clock, asp baton just behind it. Radio at 9 o’clock, taser just behind it. Cuffs at 11 o’clock, spare mag at 2 o’clock.
    Now I’m possibly pinned in my seat, door open, steering wheel pinning my right, seat back pinning my left, with a pretty big guy attacking me. Maybe he has gotten a good punch on me. Rung my bell. I’m likely leaned onto my baton, so I can’t grab it, besides that, there is no swing room in a car.
    Taser may or may not be accessible. Doubtful. It’s pinned between the seat back and me.
    Reflexively, I’m probably fending off or blocking my attacker with my left hand/arm, just like I’ve been taught.
    So I draw my sidearm, (read gun). It gets discharged during the struggle.
    Little Mikey then runs away. Should holster up at this point and either get on the radio for backup, ASAP, or give chase.
    I give chase, and little Mikey turns around to face me.
    It’s TASER time. Unless I miss, he’s gonna flop like an epileptic in a strobe light factory.
    If I miss? I’m either going to get my ass kicked, maybe beat to death, or I’m going to have to shoot him.
    Let’s see…..

    • seems plausible until you realize Brown had a friend with him, the cop didn’t know what that guy would do, and a Taser can only engage one target per cartridge and can only send power to one cartridge at a time. Personally I’d have kept the gun up too so I have the capability to service multiple threats and to stop a threat more completely without further input other than maybe cuffing a wounded crook. Now had it been just Brown by himself then I may have tased him but lethal force was justified when Mikey charged him like a rhino either way. Good shoot but complicated situation.

    • If he was a lethal threat a couple of moments ago he will be a lethal threat moments from when you get out of the car. Taser is a great idea if you have a partner to provide lethal coverage if necessary but if you’re transitioning to it when you have two suspects, one of whom has already beat your ass, I don’t think you’re being smart. Tasers don’t always work- how much of a beating are you willing to accept while you try and draw your gun again?

  59. Wow. That was overly predictable. TTAG casts police in negative light, news at 10. There’s so much wrong with this analysis, but let’s start with the most obvious– “Brown, eighteen-years-old at the time of his death, didn’t have a criminal record.”

    Okay, and…? This is pretty irrelevant since we just caught him on camera in the act of theft and physical intimidation. He may have just never gotten caught and today was his lucky day, or he chose his new profession at the wrong time. The same goes for any speculation concering propensities for extreme violence.
    In either case, the lack of a criminal record gains him and Farago jack squat in this analysis.

    So next we move to– “You’ve got to wonder if, in fact, Brown reached into the car for Officer Wilson’s gun. Why would he?”

    You can’t have it both ways here. Why would he rob some local store for cigars if he never had a rap sheet and/or propensity for physical violence? Why would he? Why would he reach into the car? Why would he do any of this according to your logic? Sure, you did preface this entire entry as speculation, but your entire supposition is built on slippery slopes arguments. Frankly, it’s failsauce if you’re trying to build a case.

    Oh, this is a good one– “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

    What? Where are you getting this? Seriously? Officer Wilson was legally justified to draw his firearm the moment he was in fear of his life and that’s something only Officer Wilson could decide in the moment, not the news or the weak armchair quarterbacking happening here. Come on. At least try here.

    Since we’re all playing backseat driving here, I’ll give the Occum’s Razor analysis of what happened– Thugo robs a store, get intercepts on completely unrelated issues. Thug think’s he’s been made and is automatically beligerant. Cop realizes he is the perp reported over the radio, goes to higher alert. Thug tries to mark his territory and get in a pissing match with the cop. Escalation occurs, shots fired.

    Wait for toxicology to come back.

  60. I have about had it with this site.

    If a 6’4″, strong arm robbery suspect physically attacks a police officer in his car, then rushed at him when he is out of the car…..I see, nor expect no other result.

    I don’t care if the person doing the ROBBERY, ASSAULTING a POLICE OFFICER, RUSHING a POLICE OFFICER is white, black, or purple the end result should be the same.

  61. Too bad there wasn’t a video of what actually happened. It’s all about if the cop is telling the truth or not. In my experience, I’ve not had a whole lot of reason to respect their word.

    • Multiple videos after the crime where eye witnesses described it. All of them that I have seen say that he ran back towards the cop before the cop started firing.

  62. Your article was one of the worst examples of logic I’ve seen in a very long time. I haven’t anything further to add as I wouldn’t waste my time.

  63. I have to know: HOW DO YOU KNOW THE POLICE OFFICER KNEW BROWN WAS UNARMED? He didn’t frisk him. He didn’t even get a word out in an interview. Anyone that attacks me on sight would make me assume that they’re armed and not looking out for my best interest.

  64. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

    If this statement were true, Zimmerman would be in jail now. Armed or unarmed does not matter. Fear of serious injury or death does.

  65. “Officer Darren Wilson is innocent until he’s proven guilty.”


    if he’s guilty, he’s guilty, regardless of whether he’s found guilty, or not guilty

    if he’s not guilty, he’s not guilty, regardless of whether he’s found guilty, or not guilty

    in theory, he is presumed not guilty, until he’s found guilty, or not guilty

    in Ferguson, he is apparently presumed guilty, regardless of whether he’s guilty, or not guilty

    “Officer Darren Wilson is presumed innocent until he’s proven guilty in a court of law.” would be a desirable ideal. except, obviously, if he’s being prosecuted, the prosecutor presumes him guilty.

    this notion falls apart on the tiniest bit of examination.

    second consideration: I you are armed, and the person you have a gun pointed at moves towards you, he’s reaching for a weapon: yours.

    cop or not cop, that is unacceptable. you can’t stand there like a sack of potatos and wait for it to happen.

  66. This is a sensitive subject: an after the fact breakdown of what may have happened. IMO training, training, training. Why, you may ask. Police seem to, and I come from a complete lack of experience so grain of salt statement, take an event start to finish let the adrenaline take over and thus chase and shoot.

    Rather would a better (combat?) trained individual breath through the adrenaline hit, assess that the threat at the car is done (e,g MB runs away) and take next steps that don’t include a single officer chase?

    We know that MB is about 30 yds from the car. IF the car was not moved, how could (should) MB have been reasonably killed? At this point there is no threat. UNLESS the cop chased MB, was very close, and MB yes did turn and rush the cop. A best GUESS from statements is this is what happened because of the grouped shots and no report of misses (that I know of) . Facts and circumstances. MB seemed to have rushed the cop and the cop shot. Seems reasonable. Were the best decisions made throughout the entire scenario? Starting with what we know and starting with MB, definitely not.

  67. I apologize if someone already posted this.
    Here’s is what is said to be Officer Wilson’s version of the events…

    Dan McDermott
    Shared publicly – Aug 17, 2014

    (UPDATED BELOW) Here is Officer Darren Wilson’s version of the Ferguson, Mo. shooting according to a woman claiming to be a family friend

    “It’s been really hard to be quiet because I do know his [Officer Wilson’s] version of the story and I haven’t… It seems like everyone is only talking about the other side and I understand they haven’t really gotten to hear his side and I have been afraid to say anything. I think we all are, all of his friends and his family but I think we need to put out his version of events so maybe people can consider them as the truth, if nothing else.

    “[Officer Wilson] said that they were walking in the middle of the street. He rolled his window down and said, ‘Come on guys. Get out of the street.’ They refused to and were yelling back and we’re almost where we’re going and there was some cussing and he kept rolling up and he pulled over and I believe at that point he called for some backup but I’m not sure but I know he pulled up ahead of them and he was watching them and he gets a call in that there was a strong arm robbery and he gets a description and he looks at them and they’ve got something in their hands that looks like it could be… cigars or whatever. So he goes in reverse back at them. He tries to get out of his car. They slam his door shut violently. I think he said Michael [Brown] did. Then he opens his door again and tries to get out and as he did Michael just bum rushes him, just slams him back into his car, punches him in the face and then [Officer Wilson] grabs for his gun and then Michael grabs for the gun. At one point he’s got the gun turned totally against his hip and shoves it away and the gun goes off.

    “Then Michael takes off with his friend. They get to be about 35 feet away and Darren [Wilson], of course protocol is to pursue. So he stands up and yells, ‘Freeze!’ Michael and his friend turn around and Michael starts taunting him. ‘Oh, what are you going to do about it? You’re not gonna shoot me.’

    “And then all of a sudden [Michael] started to bum rush him. He just started coming at him full speed so [Officer Wilson] started shooting and he just kept coming. So [Officer Wilson] really thinks [Michael Brown] was on something because he just kept coming. It was unbelievable. And so the final shot was in the forehead and he fell about 2 or 3 feet in front of the officer.

    “So that’s why the stories are going around that he was shot execution style. I think some people saw the shot to his head. Of course ballistics will prove that he wasn’t shot in the back like other people are saying, quote unquote ‘witnesses.’

    “That’s his version of what happened.”

    The conversation continues in the video below.

    UPDATE: Another eyewitness sympathetic to Michael Brown appears to corroborate this version of events:

  68. @SteveInCO, naw. I don’t get butt hurt over the truth. Nor do I get butthurt by being a minority. Get your gay on much Steve?

  69. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. ”

    What a steaming, gigantic pile of bullshit. All that is required, even for a non LEO, is reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. Armed or unarmed makes no difference.

    • R. Farago: “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. ”

      SteveInCO: ” What a steaming, gigantic pile of bullshit. All that is required, even for a non LEO, is reasonable fear of death or serious bodily injury. Armed or unarmed makes no difference.”

      @SteveInCO, well well….we agree on this! Miracles do happen you see.

  70. If facts occurred as has been reported, via second hand, as LEO stated, he was justified.
    If facts occurred as some of Mr. Brown’s advocates, and protestors, are reporting, then the LEO broke the law.
    In either case, one person will be the victim, and the other the wrongful actor (criminal)
    I hope the facts will be decided by a jury in court, as our less-than-perfect-but-best-available system allows for.

  71. So a 6 foot 4, 300 pound man commits aggravated battery to PO, including a struggle for a firearm, and you expect the Officer to stay unarmed and just use harsh language? For shame RF.

  72. For your further edification:
    For those who are wonder why two yoots would bother to rob a $50.00 box of Swisher Sweets cigars…
    Here is the likely answer:

    As in a “Swisher” Brand cigar. Filled with the worst tobacco you could possibly smoke.
    But the manufacturer knows that. They know that folks don’t actually smoke their shit.

    The purpose of the swisher is to roll a blunt and smoke weed.

    It is broken up down the center line, emptied of its original contents, refilled with marijuana, and resealed.

    One swisher can hold anywhere from a pinner 10 sack to a fat dub, depending on your rolling skills.
    They come in flavors such as Sweet (nasty), Strawberry (the best), grape (better), and peach (good).
    Don’t forget to pick up a swisher before you come through.
    by Sucker Punched March 18, 2007
    1734 786
    Words related to swisher
    blunt weed marijuana cigar swishers smoke joint philly blunts pot sweet high swish dank kush swisher sweets bud cigarillo l optimo

    got dem swisherz so we can roll dis blunt


    Also, here is a link to an educational film concerning said Swisher Sweets.
    (To avoid the risk of permanent brain damage, I suggest you skip directly to the 3.00 mark.)
    I am told that this film will fulfill the CME requirement for physicians in CA and CO.

    Swisher Sweets – The Video

    How To Roll Swisher Sweet Blunt (Full Video)

  73. I like this website, but if the majority of posts were as ridiculous as this I would have never spent ten minutes here. Maybe we should spend more time reviewing guns and less spouting silly statements about use of force…

  74. “This is no small point. If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong”

    Are you sure about that? I went through POST and that’s not what I was taught. The victim was over six feet and 200 pounds. The disparity of my size to his alone would cause me draw my gun if he got physical.

    • Read in a SWAT manual you only have a safe 5 feet to stop the bad gun ,if you can not backup or move to a safe area ,after the 4 foot line is crossed and you have no support . Get ready to open fire….

    • @brentonadams, comparing Farago’s post to POST is like comparing third grade essays to a PhD thesis.

  75. This was like an RF post written by The Onion…
    I am a huge fan of TTAG, but sadly, RF has totally lost his way with this post.

    “Brown, eighteen-years-old at the time of his death, didn’t have a criminal record.” – Really?
    You know this how?

    What you are asserting here is that this strongarm robbery was Big’Mike’s first rodeo.
    Juvenile criminal records are usually sealed by the courts and given the state’s reluctance to
    release the video of the convenience store robbery, I doubt the state would be enthusiastic about releasing his juvenile offender records.

    “If Officer Wilson drew his weapon on an unarmed man, even after being assaulted, even while being assaulted, he was clearly, legally in the wrong. Officer Wilson would have been responsible – on more than one level – for everything that happened subsequently.”

    No 6.3, 300lb man is unarmed! – You are dealing with a person the size of an NFL defensive lineman.
    His fists, feet, head and bulk alone are capable of being lethal weapons.

    “The lethal threat is over. At that point, Officer Wilson should have holstered his firearm. “
    No it’s not! The threat is still right there on the street in front of you – All 6’3″ 300lbs of it.

    “If nothing else, holding a firearm precludes the use of any other less-lethal or non-lethal weapon. Remember: Officer Wilson knew Brown was unarmed. Wrong! – Again!

    It’s hard for me to find even a single conclusion in this post that makes sense to me.

    If I saw this post on HuffPo, The NY Times, or any of the other leftard sites,
    I wouldn’t have been surprised, but on TTAG it’s incredible, absurd,
    and very, very disappointing.


    • And I read reports about how many cops get killed every year . Most because they let the bad guy get within 5 feet… Reading a police SWAT manual … 5 feet is the safe distance to keep the bad guys away from you… and lots of police are killed with their own pistols/carbines etc.. after the 5 feet the policeman only has about 4 seconds to react to backup or shoot NOW. apply that rule to your own personal defense too… if you can not backup or move away shoot if the 4 foot line is crossed… BETTER to be tried by 12 than carried 6…………

  76. I didn’t have the stomach to read through all 200 plus comments, but I kept seeing words like “thug” and “robbery” used. Except, this kid was supposed to start college yesterday at the time of this comment, and was reportedly starting his own business. Not exactly fitting into the bounds of the thug stereotype there. Second, the video from the store shows him paying for the cigars. Now, maybe my elementary school was not the best, but I remember them teaching that stealing involved not paying for the thing you stole. Are we changing the definition of that term now? Let me know so I won’t use it incorrectly. Oh, and just in case people instantly jump to the conclusion that the footage was faked or anything like that, the storeowners themselves said they were shocked when the police asked for the security tapes, and didn’t file any charges about a theft; didn’t even call the police to report one. So, does this mean the officer is guilty? No, it does mean the vast majority of commenters on here need to learn how to do research (ironic since they jumped all over the writer of the article for not doing research). Just a thought or two. Feel free to start calling me names now.

  77. Firstly, Why did the policeman seek to get on foot and re-engage the subjects knowing that he was outnumbered and over matched. Even if they surrendered he would have been putting himself and his firearm at great risk in approaching them to secure the arrest. He had a vehicle and a radio. They were on foot and did not pose a direct threat to any innocents. Hindsight, or Sunday morning quarterbacking, suggests that he should have followed them while calling for help. My view is that it is better to allow the possibility that MB get away with his cigarillos and get picked up later than it is for this to happen.

    With all that said, I think this will end up being a justifiable shoot, assuming everything in this scenario checks out. Nevetherless, it does not show the policeman’s judgement in a good light. If these were the fact of CCW holder shoot, I do not think you would come off too well in court. A policeman has some duty to chase a suspect, but he also has far greater resources at his disposal to control the circumstances of the chase.

    However, I think that RF’s heart is in the right place with the issue of police brutality/militarisation. For every Michael Brown, I can raise you an Eric Garner, a Danziger bridge massacre and Kelly Thomas. For every controversial police shoot/beatdown that end up looking justifiable, there are many more our these which are most certainly not.

    • “…However, I think that RF’s heart is in the right place with the issue of police brutality/militarisation….”

      While RF is the captain of this blog, I thought TTAG was supposed to be the home
      of the “Firearms Intelligentsia”, not the Firearms Interpersonal Therapy Center.
      Wherever RF’s heart might be is beside the point.
      I don’t think his brain was fully engaged when he wrote this piece.
      I am hoping RF will re-visit this issue and like the R51, recall his conclusions.
      This post does a disservice to TTAG and certainly calls into account the sites credibility and judgement.