Michael Brown: Latest Police Version

Ferguson police have changed their story again about whether officer Darren Wilson stopped Michael Brown after suspecting him on robbing cigars from a convenience store. At a press conference today, the police chief said Wilson did not stop Brown because he was a robbery suspect but because he was blocking the streets.

The Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown didn’t stop him because he was suspected in a recent robbery, but because he was “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic,” the city’s police chief said Friday.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters the alleged “robbery does not relate to the initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown.”

After the conference, he told the St Louis Dispatch the officer might have stopped Brown because he saw cigars in his hand and knew there was a robbery.


As to why they released the images and robbery report: They say a media station asked for it.

As to whether Brown's shoving the clerk as he was leaving the store elevates what would ordinarily be shoplifting to a robbery, apparently in Missouri it does.

Second degree robbery is defined as:

A person commits the crime of robbery in the second degree when he forcibly steals property.

The definition of "forcibly steal" includes acts done after the taking.

(1) "Forcibly steals", a person "forcibly steals", and thereby commits robbery, when, in the course of stealing, as defined in section 570.030, he uses or threatens the immediate use of physical force upon another person for the purpose of:

(a) Preventing or overcoming resistance to the taking of the property or to the retention thereof immediately after the taking; or....

The Ferguson police seriously need to get some training in public communications. Their woefully inadequate and inconsistent responses are a large part of the reason people are so frustrated.

And everyone needs to keep their attention on the shooting, and the massive militarized police response to the protests, and not get distracted by what might have happened at the convenience store. Police aren't allowed to gun down robbery suspects or those who disobey their instructions to move from one place to another.

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    These people have been beyond scrutiny (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 12:39:16 AM EST
    for so long thstthey have no tools to deal with it.  It's a good ol' white boy PD policing a largely Black neighborhood.

    I'm familiar with that.  The historically Black community where most of my Black friends live is patrolled by deputies.  It is Siberia for the vets, and Training Day for the rookies.

    Not one of these deputies would walk across this neighborhood unarmed at 2 a.m..  I would, because I am a part of the community.  The deputies hate the people there.  I have dozens of friends there, some dating back as far as high school, and that makes a big difference in how you feel about the place.

    A few years ago when I was first spotted hanging out in the neighborhood where my employees lived, conspicuous because I'm white, deputies stalked me and stopped me for "driving while white and looking kind of tough."  Three police cars trailed me while I was having their movements described to me via cellphone, by residents who are more expert in cop's behavior than the cops are in theirs.  I was warned about the traffic stop five minutes before it happened.

    I have never been arrested in my 68 years and I have no warrants.   Bummer.

    I don't see contradiction (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by CityLife on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:18:42 AM EST
    I heard the police chief say the initial contact was not motivated by the cigar robbery knowledge. As I read this is seems that after stopping Brown the cop then saw the cigars and put it together.

    "Ferguson officer realized during encounter that Michael Brown might be suspect in robbery, chief says ...
    Jackson said the officer was aware cigars had been taken in the robbery of a store nearby, but did not know when he encountered Brown and Dorian Johnson that they might be suspects. He stopped them because they were walking in the street, Jackson said.

    But Jackson told the Post-Dispatch that the officer, Darren Wilson, saw cigars in Brown's hand and realized he might be the robber." http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/ferguson-officer-realized-during-encounter-that- michael-brown-might-be/article_52c40b84-ad90-5f9a-973c-70d628d0be04.html

    That is how I understood it and it doesn't sound like a contradiction. The linked article said " In a follow-up interview, Jackson said he did not believe Wilson knew Brown might be connected to the robbery. He said Wilson stopped Brown and Johnson because they were walking in the street." That doesn't contradict realizing the connection after the initial stop.

    I'm shocked that the police chief (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:21:24 AM EST
    in a 21K population backwater podunk town in Missoura does not rise to the level of public communications/media savvy that we think necessary.

    If by that, you mean (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 08:18:24 AM EST
    he seems to lack even basic common sense about how to deal with the public, I'm in absolute agreement with you.

    M 88. (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by KeysDan on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:36:39 PM EST
    I don't think the Ferguson police need any media or communications advice--my take is that they are doing a masterful job toward achieving, what seems to be their goal of re-shaping public opinion, outside of Ferguson, and shielding a member of their force, perhaps by influencing the jury pool in the case of venue change.

    From their perspective, they were dealt a terrible hand and played it even worse.  The national and international spotlight was on them and the media came from everywhere.  Their police efforts were recognized as grotesque to the point that the governor over-rode their authority and replaced it, in some measure, with state police authority.  Moreover, the larger picture of militarized policing came crashing to the fore with never-before scrutiny and, even, legislative calls for change.

    By the police in Ferguson being "forced" to release reports, they released the one on the alleged robbery at Ferguson Food and Liquor (16-pages with store surveillance tapes for us to pour over) and no information, no reports on the shooting.

    The top media dogs were given a new scent and they dutifully followed it.  Tele-legal analysts and talking heads took to the new shinny object.   This robbery makes it all different, or at least, permits the KKK and like thinkers to take the sheets off and say, see.   And, it helps the shooting police office mount a claim of self-defense.  And, that militarized police matter is old hat.

    There is a lot of media savvy going on here, showing that they do serve and protect.   And, it is not necessarily, justice.


    Well said.... (none / 0) (#33)
    by vicndabx on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 04:28:16 PM EST
    There is a lot of media savvy going on here.

    consulting services. I'm sure your basic common sense is all that's needed here.

    "It definitely creates some challenges." (5.00 / 4) (#16)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 11:36:49 AM EST
    Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson is trying to diffuse some of the tensions he fears were stirred up with release of the robbery report Friday morning.

    Captain Johnson is the head peace-keeper in Ferguson, he's also the head public relations officer. He arrived in Ferguson Friday evening and was quickly surrounded by protesters and members of the media.
    Five on Your Side's Mike Rush asked him: "The way the Ferguson Police Department released the information this morning, does that undermine your efforts for peace?

    Johnson: I think it creates some challenges. It definitely creates some challenges.

    Rush: What kind?

    Johnson: It raises emotions. You know, yesterday we talked about trust and we need to continue that and we need to be clear, if we're going to release some information, it needs to be clear."

    Yep, just follow these steps (none / 0) (#14)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 10:57:26 AM EST
    1.  Don't try to blame the victim for anything.

    2.  Follow the law and release the information when you're suppose to, not when you feel like it.

    3.  If you're not sure what to do, see above.

    Dang, if only you were in charge. (none / 0) (#17)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 11:40:37 AM EST
    Copy editor also required. (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 01:40:24 PM EST
    I would definitely prefer it if (none / 0) (#19)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 01:41:10 PM EST
    the Ferguson Police Chief would let Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson be totally in charge of what and how information was distributed. While I disagree with your accessment of Ferguson as a backward Podunk town, I firmly believe that their Police Chief mishandled the situation from the get go. The majority of his actions have escalated the problem rather than calming down and stabilizing the situation. He keeps adding fuel to the fire.

    Ferguson's Police Department IMO is very representative of far too many departments through the country.


    Wall Street Journal article today (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:06:23 PM EST
    Includes reporting that the looting last night and early this morning was unobstructed by law enforcement after a certain point so neither the officers or others would possibly be injured. The article states the officers were dressed in a variety of uniforms, making it difficult to determine which agencies were present. Finally, the MHP press rep. could not answer the question of who was in charge.  Said he hoped to find out ASAP. Sounds like total chaos. Is that about right?

    I'm getting some of my news from smaller local (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by MO Blue on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:59:39 PM EST
    papers and 2nd and 3rd hand from people I know including my priest.

    Here is some of the reporting (which is is about as chaotic as the situation:

    Ferguson Protesters Protect Stores from Looters, Riots As Police Hold Back

    Things had quieted down. Many of the community leaders went home then all h&ll broke loose. Many of the protesters tried to stop the mob from the looting the stores. Unfortunately, their success was short lived.

    Here are some of the other stories that relay a more nuanced picture of what a mixed bag this is. Angry people still trying to keep things peaceful and keep their community together. And the Ferguson community (both black and white) represented by their Farmers Market>

    Ferguson Farmers Market Flourishes Despite Rain After Tense Night (Please read)

    Volunteers Clean Ferguson QT  


    It will be interesting to learn if the looters (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:22:47 PM EST
    are residents of Ferguson or outsiders.   Mr. french, the alderman, says law enforcement correctly did not intervene to try and stop the looters. A lawless city.

    Miserable situation (none / 0) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:25:33 PM EST
    Ken here is saying (none / 0) (#41)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 07:20:49 AM EST
    "PR is hard!"

    KKK raising money to defend Officer (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:02:51 AM EST
    Please stay on topic of Brown (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:37:50 PM EST
    This has nothing to do with George Zimmerman. Comments hijacking the thread will be deleted.

    "Might" (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by toggle on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:50:36 PM EST
    The chief didn't say the cop "might" have realized Brown was the suspect; he said the cop realized Brown "might be" the suspect. That's a very important distinction.

    NYT article re the officer's neighborhood (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 08:51:31 AM EST
    and comments by neighbors. Same re the deceased, including family and friends' comments:

    Witness to Michael Brown shooting said ... (none / 0) (#6)
    by CityLife on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:01:42 AM EST
    Witness to Michael Brown shooting: "dude kept coming towards the police"
    I think people should hear what this witness says and then also hear (in this same video) what a friend said who heard the story from the police officer's significant other. What she said coincides with what the witness in the video says. I think people should keep an open mind about this.

    Right. We should keep an open mind about (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:42:32 AM EST
    the rising temperature of the water.  Just move along, frogs, nothing to worry about, nothing to see here.

    three other eye witnesses say differently (none / 0) (#24)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:36:17 PM EST
    not differently just not complete right? (none / 0) (#28)
    by CityLife on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:07:47 PM EST
    Technically it doesn't contradict what other witnesses say only that it adds more info, very critical info yes but the thing is, when Brown spun around he could have very well have had his hands up and yet then still tried to charge towards the officer after that and that would still match what others said only adding a part that others may be leaving out. That would match what apparently is the cop's version which the woman caller is apparently retelling (2nd audio clip): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mAaJMBxKA4

    You must put your links in proper form. (none / 0) (#29)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:14:46 PM EST
    Here's my method:

    Copy the URL

    Paste into the comment box.

    Surround with brackets.  [   ]

    Inside the brackets and before the URL, type your lead in or just type "link" w/o the quotes.

    Press PREVIEW.

    If the result is ok, press POST.


    citylife, all urls must be in html format (none / 0) (#34)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 04:32:43 PM EST
    or they skew the site. Please use the link button at the top of the comment box or follow Oculus' instructions. Thanks.

    based off that youtube report... (none / 0) (#35)
    by crimebird on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 04:43:13 PM EST
    the police version of events seems to be that

    1.  Brown and the officer got into a struggle near or in the cruiser

    2.  The gun went off.

    3.  Brown and his friend ran.

    4.  The police officer pursued.

    5.  Brown turned around and confronted the police officer.

    6.  The police officer shot Brown.

    I'm not saying I believe this is a truthful version of what happened.  I will be very interested to hear if the bullet(s) struck Brown when he was facing toward or away the officer.

    Ferguson Demographic inversion since '90s (none / 0) (#8)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:39:29 AM EST
    Except the Ferguson PD is not all-Caucasian and (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:28:51 PM EST
    neither is the city council:



    Except (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:45:02 PM EST
    s/he said

    effectively all-white P.D..

    Many here have asserted Ferguson P D (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:56:59 PM EST
    has no AA officers or elected representatives in city government. But I put my comment in the wrong place.

    Releasing the video and robbery report now (none / 0) (#10)
    by ding7777 on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 09:54:49 AM EST
    will prevent Benjamin Crump from enlisting the media to publish distorted "little boy" photos as he did with Trayvon Martin.

    Really? (none / 0) (#11)
    by squeaky on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 10:07:32 AM EST
    Why's that?

    False about photo (none / 0) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 02:34:25 PM EST
    CNN: at the parents news conference with Crump:

    At a press conference on Monday, the teenager's parents tearfully described their son to reporters, holding up a photograph showing him as a toddler. "He was a good boy," his father said. "He didn't deserve none of this."

    Leopards don't get new spots, he's the same. But the Brown story is not about Crump (so far), so please stay on topic.


    WaPo says "Missouri governor declares (none / 0) (#32)
    by Angel on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 04:01:16 PM EST
    state of emergency, imposes curfew in Ferguson."

    "Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Saturday declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew on the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, marking a definitive crackdown by authorities on rioting that has erupted since an unarmed black teenager was shot and killed by a white police officer.

    Nixon, a Democrat, said the curfew would take effect at midnight and run until 5 a.m. It was not immediately clear how the curfew would be enforced or whether it would stop the demonstrations that erupted again late Friday and into early Saturday morning over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown."

    Good decision (none / 0) (#37)
    by oculus on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 05:30:28 PM EST
    Moronic decision (none / 0) (#40)
    by Repack Rider on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 07:14:39 PM EST
    This is what happens when you do not identify with or respect the people you are dealing with.

    Try to tell everybody in some Tea Party neighborhood, nothing to see here but police, stay in your homes and keep all your weapons inside.

    Think about what starts riots other than championship seasons.  Almost invariably a major injustice done by powerful against the powerless brings the public together.  And the response by the powerful is not to address the grievance but to try to overwhelm the masses with force.  The result is predictable.

    Police cause more riots than any other source.