Credibility of Key Witness in Ferguson Shooting Rapidly Evaporating

From The New American by Bob Adelmann, August 22, 2014

Dorian Johnson’s credibility as a star witness against Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown continues to plummet as more information comes out about what actually happened in Ferguson.

USA Today had reported in explicit detail on August 13 exactly what Johnson said happened on that Saturday afternoon in Ferguson when his friend, Michael Brown, was shot by a local policeman. According to Johnson, he and Brown were walking down the middle of the street when Officer Wilson pulled up in his cruiser next to them. Recalled Johnson: “He didn’t say freeze, halt or anything like we were committing a crime. He said, ‘Get the f*** on the sidewalk.’”

Johnson said Wilson then shoved open the car door, grabbed Brown around the neck and tried to pull him through the window. He said Brown never tried to reach for Wilson’s weapon. He added:

The second time he says, “I’ll shoot.” A second later the gun went off and he let go. That’s how we were able to run at the same time…. The officer pursued Brown and fired another shot, which struck Brown in the back.

His [Brown’s] hands immediately went into the air and he turned around to the officer. My friend started to tell the officer that he was unarmed and that he could stop shooting. Before he could get his second sentence out, the officer fired several more shots into his head and chest area. He fell dramatically into the fatal position. I did not hear once [the officer] yell freeze, stop or halt. It was just horrible to watch.

Then, according to USA Today, Johnson began to sob, recalling seeing that Brown was in pain: “It hurt him a lot. [I] could see it in his eyes. It was definitely like being shot like an animal. I definitely think [the officer] is guilty of murder.”

It has been all downhill for Johnson since then. First, the autopsies already completed on Brown have shown conclusively that Brown was not shot in the back. They have shown further that he was not hit in the chest area, but in his right arm. The fatal round entered his forehead which ended the confrontation. According to Dr. Michael Baden, who performed the autopsy for Brown’s family, Brown died instantly and felt no pain.

Second, one of the two other eyewitnesses to the shooting, Piaget Crenshaw, who initially claimed that Brown was shot in the back, has changed her story. Third, ABC News ran a background check on Johnson and discovered that he has a record of lying to the police in the past when he gave a false name during interrogation. Fourth, the news organization also found an outstanding warrant for Johnson for theft.

Johnson’s credibility fell further in the face of an unconfirmed report that he has recanted his testimony, that he saw Brown attack the officer during the altercation and try to take his gun away from him. Radio station 100.7 The Viper reported:

We have heard (from a VERY connected national media source) that Ferguson officer Darren Wilson will be cleared in the shooting of Michael Brown.

The key: Dorian Johnson has now admitted that Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson and attempted to take his gun.

OFFICER WILSON WILL NOT BE CHARGED!

Investigative journalists have been unable to confirm any such thing, neither the source of the news nor the claim that St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch is backing off in providing testimony to the grand jury. But it does at least add one more ingredient to the fuel firing the flames that are now causing Johnson’s credibility as McCulloch’s star witness against Wilson to evaporate.

The Ferguson story is not over. Indeed, it may be just the first chapter in this event that has brought national headline news to Ferguson, Missouri. Other chapters remain to be written by McCulloch if he proceeds with testimony to the grand jury, as well as by Attorney General Eric Holder, who had over 40 FBI agents combing the crime scene to provide evidence that Wilson willfully and intentionally violated Brown’s civil rights. But for now, Johnson’s credibility as a star witness for the prosecution has, to put it generously, been called into serious question.

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