Michael Brown shooting: First hand witness Dorian Johnson says Ferguson police officer 'could have done something different'

Dorian Johnson was with Michael Brown on the day Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson stopped them both in the street on the day of shooting

James Rush
Wednesday 26 November 2014 12:16

The friend of Michael Brown who was a first-hand witness to the teenager's killing has said the officer who shot him "could have done something different".

Dorian Johnson was with Mr Brown on the day Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson stopped them both in the street moments before a confrontation broke out.

Inconsistencies have been pointed out between the testimonies of Mr Johnson and Officer Wilson on the events that led up to the fatal shooting on 9 August.

In an interview with MSNBC, Mr Johnson spoke of his disappointment at the grand jury's verdict on Monday in deciding not to indict Officer Wilson.

He added that he did not believe the situation had to end in the way it did.

This photo released by the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's office on Monday 24 November, 2014, shows Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson during his medical examination after he fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri

He said: "I feel like he, you know, he could have done something different, that killed my friend dead in the street, he could have done something different."

While much of Officer Wilson and Mr Johnson's testimonies are similar, a number of statements which appear to contradict each other have been highlighted.

In his testimony, Officer Wilson describes how he asked the pair, as they walked in the middle of the road, "Why don't you guys walk on the sidewalk?"

In Mr Johnson's account however, the officer told them to "Get the f*** on the sidewalk."

In his testimony, Officer Wilson also describes Mr Brown replying with, "F*** what you have to say."

Mr Johnson meanwhile testified that his friend did not say anything during the initial exchanges, until after the officer reversed his car towards them and said "What did you say" in a "very loud, angry" manner.

In his testimony, Mr Johnson said: "At the time I believe he was talking to both of us. Like I said, Big Mike never said anything when the officer pulled up on us. So at the time I believe he was talking to both of us when he said, what did you say?

"And Big Mike, in an instant, Big Mike was finished saying something, his door was thrust open, very complex, he thrust his door open real hard. We was so close to the door that it hit mostly Big Mike, but it me on my left side and it closed back on him, like real fast. Just the same speed, boom, boom, that fast."

In his testimony however Officer Wilson describes how: "As I did that, I go to open the door and I say, hey, come here for a minute to Brown. As I'm opening the door he turns, faces me, looks at me and says, 'what the f*** are you going to do about it', and shuts my door, slammed it shut."

Officer Wilson also describes how Mr Brown started to punch him while he was sat in the car, saying: "I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he's obviously bigger than I was and stronger."

Officer Wilson goes on: "I’ve already taken to two the face and … the third one could be fatal if he hit me right."

"Or at least unconscious and then who knows what would have happened to me after that," he adds.

Mr Johnson however testified that the officer grabbed hold of Mr Brown's shirt before what he described as "a tug of war" ensued. Shortly afterwards Mr Johnson said his friend was shot for the first time as the officer fired his gun from inside the car.

Officer Wilson claimed in his testimony to have fired his Sig Sauer .40 caliber gun twice successfully in the vehicle. He describes Mr Brown moving away from the vehicle and him telling the teenager to "get on the ground."

The officer described how as Mr Brown turned around he "made like a grunting, like aggravated sound", before he appeared to reach with his right hand underneath his shirt.

He describes "backpedalling pretty good because I know if he reaches me, he’ll kill me."

Officer Wilson continued firing, in total letting off six shots that struck Mr Brown. The teenager was unarmed at the time of the confrontation.

In his interview with MSNBC, Mr Johnson describes how he cannot understand how the situation escalated so quickly.

He said: "I don't know how it happened, I wish it could have went a different way, it did not have to result in deadly use of force, he did not have to kill him at all, he was never threatened that much."

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