When news of the strong armed robbery was released the other day, many people asked why this bit of information had been withheld. Some felt that this was a cover-up and that the police were working backward to fabricate a justification for the murder.
I'll admit that I too wondered why the police would have withheld this information. Yesterday I finally got the answer.
It turns out that the Justice Department had warned the police that releasing the video could inflame racial tension. This means that the same Justice Department that is doing a review of this case is also offering guidance about how to frame the incident to the public at large.
Is it just me or don't you think that transparency would have helped lessen the tension in Ferguson.
Next we come to this video on YouTube. As my former students would say "Dah-yum" If you listen to the video beginning at 06:28 you will hear one of the witnesses telling the person making the video that when Officer Wilson tries to get out of his vehicle the "gentle giant" and his friend slam his car door shut violently. Then the officer exits the car.
And then what happens? According to this witness Michael bum-rushes the officer and shoves him back into his vehicle then punches the officer in the face. At that point the officer grabs for his gun. Brown also grabs for the gun and the gun goes off.
Brown then takes off and the officer pursues him. The officer yells for Michael to "FREEZE"! Michael then taunts the police officer. (NO by the way taunting does NOT give you the right to fire upon an unarmed citizen or for that matter an armed citizen)
According to the witness Brown then charged the officer and the officer began firing. Brown continued to come forward.
This sort of eye-witness statement is known as an "excited utterance." For those of you not familiar with this term, an excited utterance is a statement relating to a startling event or condition made while the declarant (the person making the statement) is under the stress or excitement that is caused.
Was Michael Brown really on his knees with his hands in the air as his friend has declared? Did Michael Brown actually run up on the cop as this witness claims? How did the policeman sustain an injury to his face? How many shots were fired? How many times was Michael Brown actually shot? Sadly there is no dash-cam to release so that some of these questions can be answered.