Oct 24, 2014 1:20 AM
Guide to developments in Ferguson police shooting
The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS (AP) It has been nearly 11 weeks since Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was shot and killed by Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer. The Aug. 9 shooting and the protests that followed raised new awareness about the racial makeup of police departments and police use of military-style equipment, among other issues. Here's a look at where things stand:
INVESTIGATIONS: Two separate investigations continue. The Justice Department is investigating possible civil rights violations and has offered no timetable on when a decision will be announced. A state grand jury investigation will determine whether Wilson faces criminal charges. A decision is expected by mid-November.
WITNESS ACCOUNTS: Brown and Wilson got into a heated exchange after Wilson told Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, to stop walking in the middle of the street. A struggle ensued inside Wilson's police SUV and his gun went off, injuring Brown's hand. Both got out of the vehicle. Brown was fatally shot in the street. Several witnesses from apartments near the shooting have said they saw Brown surrender, with his hands up. Many cellphone videos were made of the aftermath of the shooting, but no one has come forward with video showing the shooting itself.
WILSON'S ACCOUNT: Wilson has been in hiding and publicly silent since the shooting, though he did testify before the grand jury. He claimed he felt threatened after fighting with Brown from inside a police SUV, according to information provided to several news outlets by people described as familiar with the investigation, but otherwise not identified. The sources also said Wilson claimed that once outside the vehicle, Brown approached Wilson in a threatening manner, prompting the officer to shoot.
AUTOPSIES: Three autopsies were performed one by the St. Louis County Medical Examiner's office; one on behalf of Brown's family; and one for the Justice Department. Findings from the county and private autopsies both showed Brown was shot at least six times, with fatal wounds to the head and chest. Experts said neither autopsy showed conclusively whether Wilson was justified in shooting Brown. The county's toxicology report showed Brown had used marijuana, but there was no indication if it had any impact on his judgment or behavior. The Justice Department autopsy has not been released.
PROTESTS: Demonstrations were loud and sometimes violent in the days immediately following the shooting. They have continued in Ferguson and elsewhere across the St. Louis region, even across the county. Earlier this month, four days of organized protests drew thousands of people, culminating with a day of civil disobedience that included a protest at Ferguson police headquarters, a march to St. Louis City Hall, and rallies that disrupted business at a Wal-Mart store and a shopping mall. All told, hundreds of arrests have been made at protests, mostly for peace disturbance and failure to disperse.