I can see why a lot of blogs are talking about this Witness #10
guy. His story really does match up exactly what Darren Wilson said.
I took my tools, went into I came back outside to get some
more stuff and I looked down the street and I seen the police car at a slant and I
seen Mr. Brown in the window of the police car looked. . . it appeared as they
were wrestling through the window and one gunshot had let off. And, Mr.
Brown took off running and my first thought was like ?oh my gosh? did I
actually just witness a police officer being murdered because it took a while for
the police officer to get out of the car and pursue the-the suspect. And, I wanna
say maybe six seconds, but it seemed like it was forever after the-the-the first
gunshot. So, the police officer exited the vehicle with his weapon drawn
pursuing Mr. Brown. Mr. Brown was quite a distance and he stopped and when
he stopped, he didn?t get down on the ground or anything. He turned around
and he did some type of movement. I never seen him put his hands up or
anything. I can?t recall the movement that he did. I?m not sure if he pulled his
pants up or?or whatever he did butI seen some type of movement and he started
charging towards the police officer. The police officer then returned fire, well,
not returned fire, open fire on Mr. Brown. Um, if I had to guess the shots and
the-the distance between him and, a, Mr. Brown, it would have to be five to ten
yards and the shots that were fired was four, five to six shots fired and Mr.
Brown was still standing up. Um, and my thoughts was while he's missing this
guy this close, is he-is he hitting him or because Mr. Brown there was no
reaction from him to show that he was been hit. Um, after that, Mr. Brown then
paused. He-he-he stopped running and when he stopped running the police
officer stopped firing. And, then Mr. Brown continued, started again to charge
towards him and after that the police officer returned fire and um well not
returned, I'm using wrong. . .a started to fire once more at him. Um, if I had to
guess the rounds that were fired then it would be four to five more shots and
after that Mr. Brown collapsed and fell to the ground.
Witness #10 stands out. It is among the most detailed report (aside from Darren Wilson's), and it almost perfectly matches up with Darren's. (Darren Wilson story also contains the "charge - stop - charge" detail). Witness #32
has one of the best detailed reports, until the witness heard the gunshot and ducked inside of a car for cover. Ugggghhh. All #32 saw was the fight by the driver-side window, heard the first gunshot, and then #32 hid inside his/her car. (and heard 3 or 4 more gunshots after that).
A lot of the other witnesses were like "Then I ran to get my phone to record it, but when I got back it was all over" (Witness 12, Witness 16). Witness #14 is quite detailed though, but the earliest date on that person is like 8/12 or so. Witness #10 is the earliest and most detailed simultaneously. (8/11). BTW: The PBS Graphic has horribly wrong typs. The incident occured on 8/9. Darren Wilson's account was on 8/10. They dated one of the accounts (Witness #14) as 8/5, but that's just blatantly wrong (a witness testamony before the event?) Come on PBS, fix them typos.
Anyway, just double-check those dates on the infographic. Its useful, but I'm definitely finding mistakes.
With that said, the earliest Witness account that is anything like the media-attention is Witness #14, dated 8/12 (at least, among the stuff that I've been looking at). Most of the earlier interviews seem to be checking out with Darren Wilson's story... or are incomplete. I've only read through maybe... a dozen or so of the interviews. So my opinion is far from comprehensive. But here it is if you're curious.
1. Early Witness Testimony (8/9, 8/10, or 8/11 interviews) exclusively state that Michael Brown started the fight.
2. Virtually all witnesses who saw the start note that the first gunshot was inside of Darren Wilson's car.
3. Autopsy reports corroborate with the testimony: As Michael Brown was grabbing Darren Wilson's gun, Darren Wilson shot him in the hand.
EDIT: At this point: Michael Brown runs away from the car. I can say with 100% certainty that Michael Brown ran away from Darren Wilson... for at least a little bit at this point.
4. Witness accounts begin to get fuzzy here: most witnesses are either ducking for cover (they heard gunshots and are getting down), or have started looking for cell phones (so they don't see what happened next).
EDIT: Michael Brown turns to face Darren Wilson again. Some witnesses claim it was because he was shot. Others just mention him turning around without gunshots. Autopsy says all of Darren Wilson's wounds were from the front, so I'm taking the Autopsy report on this point.
5. Whether or not Michael Brown turns around to charge again is up for debate. Witness #10 (along with Darren Wilson) claim that Michael Brown charged at this point. Other witnesses (#14) however claim that Michael Brown had his hands up.
Michael Brown was most definitely facing
Darren Wilson at the time of his death. Michael charging towards Darren Wilson is debatable, but seems more plausible based on how well Witness #10 seem to match up with Darren Wilson's story. Point #4 / #5 is the difficult one, because so many witness testimonies are irrelevant on this point. Most people only heard these last gunshots, they didn't see it (kinda hard when most people want to run away from gunshots).
In any case, 1 through 3 makes this a solid self-defense case to say the least. Darren Wilson had reason to believe his life was in danger, as Michael Brown grabbed the gun from him. Multiple witnesses corroborate on elements of Darren Wilson's story, with Witness #10 almost matching it word for word.
There's also some criticism
over the PBS chart going around the internet. I dunno, I still find the PBS chart to be very useful. But please remember, read the interviews yourself. It is clear that some interviews (like Witness #12) need to be discounted almost entirely. Witness #12 just wasn't paying attention very well compared to others.
I wouldn't say PBS is "lying" with its chart, but its definitely making some witnesses seem more important than others. (Witness #12 has three short, terrible interviews. Filled with "I guess", and "guestimates"). But Witness #12 takes up three slots on the infographic, making you think his opinion is somehow useful or worthwhile. I don't think PBS was trying to misdirect, they just went through the interviews one by one and gave them each one line. But personally speaking, I'd just ignore all three of Witness #12's interviews entirely. (Read them though, they're short so it won't take much of your time)
Also, some like Witness #48 claim that Brown raises his hands
(about chest-high)... but still claims Brown charges at Darren Wilson. So "Hands were Up", but reading the witness account it didn't mean "surrender". PBS Infographic marked #48 as "Hands Up" (to be fair, 48 claims hands were physically up while Brown was charging at Darren Wilson).
Witness#48: He was still down the street, he was running back, he did like did like, he put his hands up for a few seconds and then put his arms down and he kind of put them close to his chest and he started running.
Detective: Um, and then did you hear the policeman shoot, uh, at all when he was when he was running away?
Detective: Or only when he was coming back?
Witness#48: Only when he was charging at him.
Also, the dates are just wrong. I can't get over this fact... the dates are just... wrong. So... pay attention to that as well.
We exist in a day and age where we can just read
the primary data ourselves and make our own opinion. It is very dry work reading through the interviews, but its the only way to get a comprehensive view on what happened here.
First Strike +1/+1 and Indestructible.