According to forensic evidence, Michael Brown’s blood was found on the gun, uniform and inside the car of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, law enforcement officials told the Washington Post.
Authorities believe the forensic evidence potentially corroborate Darren Wilson’s story that the unarmed 18-year-old tried to take his gun.
The evidence will make it harder for the Justice Department to prosecute Officer Darren Wilson on federal charges that he violated Michael Brown’s civil rights, said the officials.
Michael Brown’s blood was found on the gun, uniform and inside the car of Officer Darren Wilson
Such evidence would also make it difficult for a county grand jury to indict Darren Wilson on state charges, such as murder or manslaughter, said county sources who also are prohibited from talking on the record about the pending case.
The St. Louis County police, the FBI and a county grand jury are investigating the shooting. The Justice Department is investigating Ferguson and St. Louis County policing practices and whether they have violated the rights of residents.
Darren Wilson, who is white, fatally shot Michael Brown, an African American, on August 9 in the majority black St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.
Officer Darren Wilson, who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with the teenager.
Darren Wilson has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Michael Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the FBI. The first bullet struck Michael Brown in the arm and the second bullet missed.
The forensics tests showed Michael Brown’s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Darren Wilson’s uniform.
Darren Wilson told the authorities that Michael Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.
Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9
This is the first public account of Darren Wilson’s testimony to investigators, but it does not explain why, after he emerged from his vehicle, he fired at Michael Brown multiple times. It contradicts some witness accounts, and it will not calm those who have been demanding to know why an unarmed man was shot a total of six times.
Michael Brown’s death continues to fuel anger and sometimes-violent protests.
In September, Darren Wilson appeared for four hours before a St. Louis County grand jury, which was convened to determine whether there is probable cause that he committed a crime. Legal experts have said that his decision to testify was surprising, given that it was not required by law. But the struggle in the car may prove to be a more influential piece of information for the grand jury, one that speaks to Officer Darren Wilson’s state of mind, his feeling of vulnerability and his sense of heightened alert when he killed Michael Brown.
Police officers typically have wide latitude to use lethal force if they reasonably believe that they are in imminent danger.
Another case involving Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown, will be reviewed by a St. Louis County grand jury.
A judge approved the request by county prosecutors on September 29 in a case involving a drug suspect arrested in 2013 by Officer Darren Wilson. The man’s attorney wants the drug distribution charge dismissed because he doesn’t expect Darren Wilson, who did not attend the hearing, to show up in court.
Officer Darren Wilson shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson
Darren Wilson received a Ferguson City Council commendation for his role in Christopher Brooks’ arrest. But defense attorney Nick Zotos said his client was “roughed up” by Darren Wilson and also questioned whether his actions merited special recognition.
The grand jury is also reviewing evidence in the early August shooting death of Michael Brown to determine whether Darren Wilson should face criminal charges.
Thousands of people gathered in the New York borough of Staten Island near the site of Eric Garner’s death to march in protest against police killings.
Eric Garner, a 43-year-old black man, died in July after being placed in a chokehold as police arrested him for allegedly selling untaxed cigarettes.
The march was led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner.
Eric Garner died weeks before black teenager Michael Brown was killed in Missouri.
Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead on August 9 after being stopped by a police officer for walking in the street in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson.
The killing sparked days of protest culminating in the deployment of the National Guard, which was withdrawn on August 22.
Some of the protesters in New York displayed banners saying “Black lives matter” while others demanded justice in the cases of both Eric Garner and Michael Brown, as a large police contingent looked on.
The Staten Island march was led by the Rev. Al Sharpton and relatives of Eric Garner
Some shops were closed for the day on August 23, amid fears the protest could turn violent as happened in Ferguson earlier this week.
However, civil rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton repeatedly warned demonstrators that such action would not be tolerated. He said that Eric Garner’s death was a defining moment for police nationwide.
In the event protesters filed peacefully past the spot where Mr Garner was held to the ground by police as the marchers processed towards the the Staten Island prosecutor’s office.
“We will prevail,” the black reverend – who was accompanied by Eric Garner’s widow and several of his children – told the crowd.
“They will not cry alone.”
The demonstrators demanded the prosecution of Daniel Pantaleo, the suspended police officer who arrested Eric Garner. Some chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” – the slogan often used by the Ferguson demonstrators.
A New York grand jury is considering criminal charges against Daniel Pantaleo.
Eric Garner, who had asthma, was heard on a witness video shouting “I can’t breathe!” as police arrested him.
A medical examiner has ruled his death a homicide.
However, the New York City medical examiner’s office said other factors contributed to his death included asthma and heart disease.
Eric Garner’s death provoked an outcry, especially after a video of Officer Daniel Pantaleo placing him in a chokehold became public.
Chokeholds are banned by the New York Police Department and Commissioner William Bratton has ordered an internal review of training.
The National Guard has begun withdrawing from Ferguson, Missouri, where the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by white policeman Darren Wilson has sparked days of protests.
The National Guard troops were deployed in Ferguson on August 18 when demonstrations became more violent.
On August 21, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered their withdrawal when it appeared that tensions had eased.
Michael Brown, 18, was killed on 9 August after being stopped by a police officer for walking in the street.
Jay Nixon had called in the National Guard to support police operations, amid unrest driven by anger over Michael Brown’s death and the police response.
However, August 20 and 21 were relatively calm with only a few arrests made.
Despite the easing of tension, some caution violence could flare up again when Michael Brown is buried on August 25.
The National Guard troops were deployed in Ferguson when demonstrations became more violent over Michael Brown’s shooting
“Monday night will be a critical night,” St Louis based Bishop Edwin Bass told the Reuters news agency.
“The funeral could have a big impact on the mood of the community,” he said.
Officer Darren Wilson, has been suspended with pay and Michael Brown’s family and supporters have called for him to be prosecuted.
A grand jury panel of residents has begun hearing evidence in the case, though officials have not said when it will reach a decision.
Attorney General Eric Holder arrived in Ferguson on August 20 to talk to justice department officials leading a separate federal investigation into the killing.
Eric Holder, who is the first black US attorney general, said on August 21 that the “national outcry we have seen speaks to the mistrust and mutual suspicions that can take hold between law enforcement and certain communities”.
“I wanted the people of Ferguson to know I personally understood that mistrust,” he said.
“This attorney general and this department of justice stand with the people of Ferguson.”
Eric Holder added that while he had gone to Ferguson to “provide reassurance, in fact they gave me hope”.
Attorney General Eric Holder has promised a “full, fair and independent” investigation as he arrived in Ferguson, Missouri, in a bid to defuse tensions following the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.
Ferguson has seen 10 nights of often violent clashes between police and demonstrators since the shooting of Michael Brown, who was unarmed.
Police arrested 47 people on August 19 night but said that the violence had largely abated.
Community leaders have continued to appeal for calm and healing.
In an open letter published in the St Louis Post-Dispatch on Tuesday, Eric Holder said that the justice department “will defend the right of protesters to peacefully demonstrate”.
However, Eric Holder added that “violence cannot be condoned” and urged Ferguson residents to condemn “the actions of looters, vandals and others seeking to inflame tensions and sow discord”.
He said violent acts had been committed by “a very small minority, in many cases individuals from outside Ferguson”.
Reports suggest that Eric Holder is considering opening a broader investigation into policing in Ferguson in general, following several allegations of police misconduct.
The New York Times reports that under Eric Holder, the justice department has ordered over twice as many such department-wide investigations than before.
Many local residents have demanded that Officer Darren Wilson, who shot the 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, should be arrested and prosecuted. He has been placed on administrative leave with pay.
Eric Holder has promised a full, fair and independent investigation into Michael Brown’s death as he arrived in Ferguson
Witnesses have said Michael Brown was shot as he held his hands up in a position of surrender, while the police and supporters of Darren Wilson have said he fired during a fight with Michael Brown.
The police response, flooding the town with hundreds of officers in riot gear, has been criticized as heavy-handed.
Authorities were also criticized for not being transparent enough in the immediate aftermath of the shooting.
The St Louis County prosecutor’s office said it would present evidence against Darren Wilson to a grand jury on Wednesday.
The jury will determine whether or not to charge him with a crime.
A group of protesters gathered in front of the courthouse on Wednesday, chanting, praying and holding up signs urging the county prosecutor to step aside in this case, as a line of police officers stood guard over the main door.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has said he would not seek Bob McCulloch’s removal.
Both St Louis officials and the US justice department are conducting investigations into the case, which has provoked demonstrations throughout the country.
Police in Ferguson said they arrested 47 people on Tuesday night following a largely peaceful protest.
Missouri Highway Patrol Capt Ron Johnson, who has led the police response since Thursday, said that the protest began without trouble but that during the night some protesters threw bottles of water and urine at police.
“As of 01:00, we have 47 arrests,” he said.
However, he stressed that police had not been fired upon and that they did not use tear gas on protesters.
“Tonight we saw a different dynamic,” Ron Johnson said.
“Tonight the elders in this community, volunteers, activists and the clergy came out in large numbers. They walked, they talked with people. They urged order and common peace,” he said.
The relative calm is in contrast to Monday night’s violence when Capt. Ron Johnson said police came under “heavy gunfire” and responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
This was despite the deployment of National Guard units in the town on Monday.
The police shot another black man on Tuesday in St Louis, in an incident many feared could exacerbate the tension in Ferguson.
The man was suspected of robbery, and had approached them brandishing a knife. The second shooting has so far had little or no impact on the protests in Ferguson.
Thirty one people have been arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, during another night of angry protests.
Ferguson unrest flared hours after President Barack Obama called for calm following the fatal police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown on August 9.
Attorney General Eric Holder is due to visit Ferguson on Wednesday, August 20, to meet federal officials investigating the killing.
The National Guard has been deployed to support police operations.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced the National Guard deployment on August 18, in addition to lifting a night-time curfew imposed on the weekend.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman, named Darren Wilson, in a street has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black community of Ferguson.
Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown on August 9 after reportedly stopping him for walking in the street.
Police Captain Ron Johnson said officers were forced to use tear gas and stun grenades on Tuesday after they came under “heavy gunfire” and were attacked with petrol bombs and bottles.
He said two people were hit by gunfire from demonstrators, insisting that officers did not use their weapons.
Ron Johnson appealed to demonstrators to protest in the daytime to prevent a “tiny minority of law breakers” from deliberately sparking violence.
Thirty one people have been arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, during another night of angry protests (photo CNN)
“Anyone who has been at these protests understands that there is a dangerous dynamic in the night: it allows a small number of violent agitators to hide in the crowd and then attempt to create chaos,” he told journalists.
Those arrested include people from other states, including New York and California, Capt. Ron Johnson said. Correspondents say this suggests the protests are becoming more organized.
In an earlier statement, Attorney General Eric Holder said he would “personally travel” to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet FBI investigators and prosecutors.
“I realize there is tremendous interest in the facts of the incident that led to Michael Brown’s death, but I ask for the public patience as we conduct this investigation,” he said.
Eric Holder added that the investigation into the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown was “a critical step in restoring trust between law enforcement and the community, not just in Ferguson, but beyond”.
Separately, President Barack Obama said he understood the “passions and anger” provoked by the death of the teenager.
Barack Obama also stressed that giving into anger “by looting or carrying guns and even attacking the police only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos”.
The president said he recognized that in many communities in the US a “gulf of mistrust” existed between local residents and law enforcement.
“In too many communities, too many young men of color are left behind and seen only as objects of fear,” he said.
Earlier, Dr. Michael Baden, a former New York pathologist hired by Michael Brown’s family, performed an independent post-mortem examination.
Dr. Michael Baden said he believed six bullets struck the teenager, two of which may have re-entered.
“All of the gunshot wounds could have been survivable, except the one at the top of the head,” he said.
Dr. Michael Baden said there were no signs of a struggle, as abrasions around Michael Brown’s face were likely from falling to the pavement after being shot.
He also believed Darren Wilson did not shoot him at close range as there was no gunpowder residue on his body, suggesting the officer was more than 2ft away.
Witnesses have said Michael Brown was shot as he held his hands up in a position of surrender, while the police and supporters of Darren Wilson have said he fired during a fight with the teenager.
Officer Darren Wilson has been suspended with pay since the shooting.
Michael Brown’s family has called for his arrest.
Another post-mortem on Michael Brown will be conducted by the US justice department, in addition to examinations by Dr. Michael Baden and St Louis county officials.
The National Guard has been sent to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed an order to “help restore peace and order and to protect the citizens of Ferguson”.
The decision was made as police clashed with angry crowds shortly before a second night under curfew began.
Police in Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, said they came under attack and had “no alternative” but to respond.
Captain Ron Johnson said protesters had thrown Molotov cocktails and bottles at security forces, and set up barricades before the five-hour curfew began at midnight on Sunday.
“For those who would claim that the curfew was what led to [the] violence, I will remind you this incident began three and a half hours before the curfew was to have started,” Ron Johnson told journalists in Ferguson on Monday.
Correspondents at the scene described seeing smoke clouds rise up as police began to disperse the protests on West Florissant Avenue, with a helicopter beaming down a spotlight.
Some of the demonstrators were spluttering and poured bottles of water into their eyes as they felt the effects of tear gas. Others sought cover from the unrest inside a fast food restaurant.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman in a street on August 9 has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black suburb.
The National Guard has been sent to the town of Ferguson as protests escalate over the police shooting of black teenager Michael Brown (photo AP)
Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown after reportedly stopping him for walking in the street, disrupting traffic.
Governor Jay Nixon has criticized police for releasing surveillance video which apparently shows Michael Brown stealing some hours before his death.
Jay Nixon said the release of the footage “appeared to cast aspersions” on the dead man, saying “it made emotions raw”.
He also condemned the protesters: “These violent acts are a disservice to the family of Michael Brown and his memory and to the people of this community who yearn for justice to be served and to feel safe in their own homes.”
A preliminary post-mortem examination by the St Louis County Medical Examiner’s office on the day after Michael Brown’s death found he had been shot, police said, without disclosing how many times.
However, a preliminary private post-mortem report has since revealed that he was shot at least six times, including twice in the head, the New York Times reports.
The bullets did not appear to have been fired from very close range due to the lack of gunpowder on the victim’s body, forensic pathologist Michael Baden was quoted by the paper as saying.
Michael Baden flew to Missouri on Sunday to conduct a separate autopsy at the request of the family.
Officials last week confirmed that Darren Wilson was a six-year police veteran with no previous complaints against him. He has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has criticized Ferguson police for releasing a surveillance video which apparently shows shooting victim Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store.
Jay Nixon said the release of CCTV footage nearly a week after Officer Darren Wilson shot black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, St Louis, “appeared to cast aspersions” on the dead man.
“It made emotions raw,” Jay Nixon told ABC on Sunday.
Attorney General Eric Holder has ordered a federal post-mortem on Michael Brown’s body.
Riot police used tear gas and smoke bombs to disperse protesters overnight as they defied a curfew in Ferguson. The curfew is being extended for a second day, beginning at midnight on August 17 and running for five hours.
The killing of Michael Brown by a white policeman in a street on 9 August has inflamed racial tensions in the largely black suburb.
It caused dismay across the US while images of riot police deployed in an American city suburb have made headlines worldwide.
The video “appeared to cast aspersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street”, said Governor Jay Nixon.
On Saturday, Jay Nixon declared the curfew after looters targeted stores in Ferguson overnight.
Governor Jay Nixon has criticized Ferguson police for releasing a surveillance video which apparently shows shooting victim Michael Brown stealing from a convenience store
Seven arrests were made as police used smoke bombs and tear gas to disperse a crowd of about 150 in Ferguson, after being called to the scene of a disturbance at a restaurant after the curfew started.
A police car reportedly came under fire and a person was hurt in an apparently unrelated shooting in the same area.
As police were nearing the restaurant, a man with a handgun went into the street but ran away, AP news agency reports.
Someone also shot at a police car but it was not clear if it had been hit.
In the same area, a person was shot and critically wounded and police were searching for the attacker.
Demonstrators complained that the curfew would make matters worse.
Jayson Ross, who was leading the protesters toward the police before tear gas was fired, was quoted as saying by AP: “They got guns. We got guns. We are ready.”
Local politician Antonio French, who was with the protesters, tweeted: “Too many young men talking about they’re ready to die tonight.”
The US justice department is investigating the shooting of Michael Brown, with 40 FBI agents dispatched to Ferguson to gather information.
The justice department said on Sunday that Eric Holder had ordered a federal post-mortem examination at the request of Michael Brown’s family, in addition to a Missouri state autopsy.
A preliminary autopsy by the St Louis County Medical Examiner’s office on the day after Michael Brown’s death found he had been shot, police said, without disclosing how many times.
Earlier, the lawyer for Michael Brown’s family, Anthony Gray, announced that it had hired one of America’s most famous forensic pathologists, Michael Baden, to conduct an independent examination.
Michael Baden, 80, has worked on investigations into the deaths of such public figures as President John F. Kennedy, the punk star Sid Vicious and the family of the last Russian emperor, Tsar Nicholas II, according to a profile on Fox News, where he works as a TV host.
Darren Wilson, a six-year police veteran with no previous complaints against him, has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.
Darren Wilson had reportedly stopped Michael Brown for walking in the street, disrupting traffic.
Michael Brown was a suspect in a robbery just moments earlier he was shot by police on Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, police have said.
Michael Brown, 18, was one of two men suspected of robbing a nearby convenience store, police say.
Minutes later he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson after a struggle, Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson said on Friday.
The killing sparked days of violent protests in Ferguson.
Thomas Jackson described the robbery at the convenience store as being committed without the use of a weapon.
Police released to the press pictures of a well-built black man intimidating a clerk in the store.
The report identifies Michael Brown, who is described as being 6ft 4in and 292 pounds, as one of the robbers.
It says he “grabbed a box of Swisher Sweet cigars” and handed them to a second suspect identified as Michael Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson.
Since the shooting on Saturday, Thomas Johnson has given a number of interviews in which he has said Michael Brown held up his hands in an act of surrender before being shot by the officer.
He has not mentioned his involvement in any robbery.
Michael Brown was suspected in strong-arm robbery before being shot by police
Darren Wilson, the police officer said to have shot Michael Brown, is a six-year veteran of the police force with no disciplinary record, Thomas Jackson said.
Thomas Jackson said he was treated for injuries sustained during the confrontation with Michael Brown, but he provided no other details of the deadly encounter.
Members of the majority black Ferguson community reacted angrily to the announcement that Michael Brown was a police suspect.
The revelations came after days of furious protests in Ferguson over the killing, to which police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.
On Thursday night, tension seemed to ease, at least momentarily, as state police took charge of security.
Captain Ronald Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, an African-American who grew up nearby, was named as the new head of the operation.
The previous evening, the reverberations from the Mid-west town were felt nationwide with dozens of vigils organized by a social media campaign.
The event in Washington DC was attended by hundreds of people in Malcolm X Park, many holding placards saying: “Hands up. Don’t shoot”.
Similar vigils were held in New York, Boston, Detroit, Chicago and many other cities.
They came at the end of a day when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon likened the scenes of violence in Ferguson to a “war zone” and the police conduct was questioned.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the use of military equipment and vehicles in Ferguson had sent a “conflicting message”, while President Barack Obama said there was no excuse for police using “excessive force”.
Barack Obama has promised a full investigation by the US Department of Justice into the teenager’s death, and the FBI has launched its own inquiry.
Michael Brown, the black teenager who was fatally shot by police in Missouri, had his hands raised when the officer approached him with his weapon drawn and fired repeatedly, according to two men who said they witnessed the shooting.
The FBI opened an investigation Monday into the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who police said was shot multiple times Saturday after being confronted by a white officer in Ferguson, a 21,000-resident suburb that’s nearly 70 percent black.
Authorities were vague about exactly what led the officer to open fire, except to say that the shooting was preceded by a scuffle of some kind. It was unclear whether Michael Brown or a man he was with was involved in the altercation.
Investigators have refused to publicly disclose the race of the officer, who is now on administrative leave.
Phillip Walker said he was on the porch of an apartment complex overlooking the scene when he heard a shot and saw a white officer with Michael Brown on the street.
Witnesses say Michael Brown had his hands raised when he was fatally shot by a police officer (photo AP)
Dorian Johnson offered a similar account when he told WALB-TV that he and Michael Brown were walking home from a convenience store when a police officer told them to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk. Dorian Johnson said they kept walking, which caused the officer to confront them from his car and again after getting out of his car.
He said the first time the officer fired, he and Michael Brown got scared and ran away.
“He shot again, and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air, and he started to get down,” Dorian Johnson said.
“But the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”
“We wasn’t causing harm to nobody,” Dorian Johnson said.
“We had no weapons on us at all.”
Phillip Walker acknowledged that he did not see a scuffle or the circumstances surrounding the first gunshot.
The St. Louis County Police Department refused to discuss Dorian Johnson’s remarks, citing the ongoing investigation. However, county Police Chief Jon Belmar previously said that an officer encountered Michael Brown and another man outside an apartment complex, and that one of the men pushed the officer into his squad car and they struggled over the officer’s weapon.
The FBI is looking into possible civil rights violations arising from the shooting, said Cheryl Mimura, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s St. Louis field office. She said the FBI would be investigating regardless of the public attention surrounding the matter.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement that the case deserves a thorough review.
Nearly three dozen people were arrested following a candlelight vigil Sunday night after crowds looted and burned stores, vandalized vehicles, assaulted and threatened reporters, and taunted officers who tried to block access to parts of the city.