There is perhaps no bigger news story in the United States at the current moment than the case of Michael Brown - a Ferguson, Mo teen who was gunned-down by a police officer in broad daylight a little more than a week ago. The decision to fire upon Brown has been questioned by many witnesses, most of whom state that Brown was posing no threat to the officer and was actually running away when the officer opened fire and eventually killed the 18-year-old.
Thus far, not much has been offered in terms of evidence besides many witness statements of what occurred that fateful day. A recently released autopsy report shows that Brown was shot anywhere from six to eight times, with the fatal wound coming from a shot which entered the top of the skull. Brown was shot once more in the face and four more times in his right arm.
While the autopsy confirms witness reports that Brown was shot multiple times, it does nothing to clarify what actually occurred before the shots were fired. Unfortunately, video evidence released by witness Piaget Crenshaw does not shine any light on the confrontation, either:
The video was taken with Crenshaw's cell phone shortly after Brown was shot by Officer Darren Wilson. In the video, Crenshaw can be heard muttering, "God bless his soul. Police shot this boy outside my apartment."
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Crenshaw reports that she witnessed the entirety of the altercation despite the fact that her video starts after Brown was shot. When asked why she decided to film what had happened, Crenshaw responded:
I knew this was not right, I knew police should not even have been chasing this young boy and firing at the same time. That fact that he got shot in the face, it was something that clicked in me, I thought, somebody else needs to see this. This isn’t right.
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) August 19, 2014
According to Crenshaw, there was a struggle between Brown and Officer Wilson at the window of Wilson's car in which it appeared as if Brown was trying to push away from the vehicle. Once free from Wilson, Brown ran away from the officer, at which point the officer began firing at Brown. Once Brown raised his hands and turned around to surrender, Officer Wilson allegedly continued to shoot, hitting Brown multiple times.
The incident as reported by Crenshaw remains consistent with the reports from Tiffany Mitchell, Crenshaw's coworker who also saw the incident, and Dorian Johnson, Brown's friend who was with him during the altercation.
Their descriptions of the events differ drastically from the events as recalled by a supposed friend of Officer Wilson, who called into radio station KFTK to provide the officer's side of the story:
He [Officer Wilson] pulled up ahead of them [Brown and Johnson]. And then he got a call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery. And, they gave a description...Tries to get out of his car. They slam his door shut violently. I think he said Michael did. And, then he opened the car again. He tried to get out. He stands up.
And then Michael just bum-rushes him and shoves him back into his car. Punches him in the face and them Darren grabs for his gun. Michael grabbed for the gun. At one point he got the gun entirely turned against his hip. And he shoves it away. And the gun goes off.
Well, then Michael takes off and gets to be about 35 feet away. And, Darren's first protocol is to pursue. So, he stands up and yells, ''Freeze!'' Michael and his friend turn around.
And Michael taunts him… And then all the sudden he just started bum-rushing him. He just started coming at him full speed... 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.
Currently, a grand jury is awaiting to hear eye-witness testimony to decide whether or not to return an indictment on the case. Not only is a local investigation underway, but Attorney General Eric Holder has also announced that 40 FBI agents are currently conducting a civil rights investigation into the shooting.