Accessibility links


Conflicting Accounts Cloud Investigation Into Fatal Police Shooting

  • Chris Simkins

A grand jury in the state of Missouri will hear evidence in the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teenager in the town of Ferguson. The August 9th shooting which has sparked days of violent protests in Ferguson, a Saint Louis suburb.

Prosecutors are examining evidence in the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson , Missouri police officer, Darren Wilson.

Since the shooting, residents in the predominantly African American community have demanded answers about what happened. Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, says her son was murdered and wants a through investigation.

"Being fair and arresting this man [Officer Darren Wilson] and making him accountable for his action," she said.

There are conflicting accounts about the circumstances that led to Michael Brown's death.

Police have released surveillance video allegedly showing the teenager stealing cigars at a convenience store shortly before the incident. But investigators say the robbery was not the reason why officer Wilson pulled up to Brown in his patrol car when he saw him on the street. They say at some point the officer was pushed into his squad car, then physically assaulted during a struggle. At least one shot was fired inside the car. Saint Louis County Police Chief, Jon Belmar.

"It is our understanding at this point in the investigation that within the police car there was a struggle for the officer's weapon," said Belmar.

Police say Wilson had bruises on his face. But witnesses paint a different picture.

"The kid was trying to push off away from the cop and the cop was trying to pull him in," said one.

It is unclear what happened next, but other witnesses lsay Brown was running away from the officer after being shot.

"He was running and then he turned around and put his arms up. He just stopped put his hands up after he had gotten shot repeatedly," said another.

Attorneys for the Brown family released the results of an independent autopsy that suggests the unarmed teenager was shot multiple times from the front, including two shots to the head. The autopsy found no signs of a struggle between Brown and the officer. Brown family attorney Benjamin Crump.

"It verifies that the witness accounts were true that he [Michael Brown] was shot multiple times," said Crump.

Two other autopsies on Brown's body have been conducted by local and federal investigators.

Meanwhile, officer Wilson's friends say he reportedly told them he fired the last shots as Brown was charging towards him, but investigators have not confirmed this.

Legal analysts say the evidence prosecutors present to the grand jury will be key in determining if officer Wilson is charged with a crime in the shooting death of Michael Brown.

Show comments