Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Different Versions of the Encounter That Led to a Fatal Police Shooting; FERGUSON POLICE SHOOTING

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Different Versions of the Encounter That Led to a Fatal Police Shooting; FERGUSON POLICE SHOOTING

Article excerpt

There were at least two versions of the encounter that led to a police officer fatally shooting an unarmed Ferguson teenager on Saturday: one from a young man named Dorian Johnson who told reporters he had been walking with the victim, Michael Brown, and the second from St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar.

The versions agree on some basic facts: The officer approached the teens, who were walking in the street, there was an altercation in or near the car, and the officer fired several shots at the unarmed Brown, who was then several yards away, killing him.

In Johnson's version, the officer reached out of the car to grab Brown by the throat. In Belmar's version, which cited his department's investigation, Brown reached into the car to attack the officer, and struggled to grab his weapon.

JOHNSON'S VERSION

"Me and my friend was walking down the street in the middle of the street. And we wasn't causing any harm to nobody. We had no weapons on us at all. A police officer squad car pulled up and when he pulled up these were his exact words: 'Get the F on the sidewalk.' He reversed his car in a manner to where it almost hit us. He tried to brush his door open but he was so close to us that it ricocheted off us and it bounced back to him, and I guess that, you know, got him a little upset. And at that time ... he didn't get out the car, he just reached his arm out the window and grabbed my friend around his neck and as he was trying to choke my friend, he was trying to get away, and the officer then reached out and he grabbed his arm to pull him into the car. His weapon was drawn and he said, 'I'll shoot you' or 'I'm going to shoot,' and in the same moment the first shot went off. And we looked at him, he was shot, and there was blood coming from him, and we took off running, and as we took off running, I ducked and hid for my life because I was afraid for my life . …

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