What exactly happened on the night of Michael Brown's shooting?

Elsa Buchanan
Wednesday 26 November 2014 09:30

This is the version of events the grand jury heard when deciding whether or not to send officer Darren Wilson to court...

What was Michael Brown doing?

Michael Brown and his 22-year old friend Dorian Johnson left a convenience store at 11.54am. A surveillance video showed Mr Brown stealing some cigarillos.

What did Officer Wilson do?

Just after midday, Officer Darren Wilson told the two men, who were walking on the street to move to the pavement. Mr Johnson, who was interviewed by the grand jury, told MSNBC the officer told the pair to “get the f* on to the sidewalk”. The officer then saw that Mr Brown fitted the description of a suspect in a convenience store theft. An altercation occurred between the police officer and Mr Brown, who was standing at Officer Wilson’s vehicle window.

What evidence was presented to the grand jury?

Mr Johnson said that Officer Wilson attempted to push his door open, but the door slammed into Mr Brown and bounced closed. Mr Johnson said the officer grabbed Mr Brown by the neck. Several witnesses reported an altercation between Officer Wilson and Mr Brown. Other witnesses said Brown punched Officer Wilson. A medical examination indicated that Officer Wilson had some swelling on his face.

What does a grand jury do?

It doesn’t determine guilt or innocence. Its role is to decide whether there is enough evidence to put a suspect on trial. The grand jury meets in secret with no judge or lawyer present and only works with the prosecutor who explains to them the law and presents the evidence.

What happened next?

Officer Wilson fired two shots from inside the car. The first one grazed Mr Brown’s right thumb. Examiners found Mr Brown’s blood in and outside the driver’s door, and on Officer Wilson’s trousers, shirt and weapon. As the young men started running, he decided to pursue on foot. Mr Brown turned toward the officer, who fired several more shots, fatally wounding the teenager.

Was Mr Brown attacking him?

There is a mass of conflicting testimony from 60 witnesses. Some said Mr Brown never moved toward Officer Wilson. Most witnesses said shots were fired as he moved toward the officer.

What killed Michael Brown?

Brown sustained at least six more wounds from the 10 rounds fired by the officer in the street. The wounds on his forehead and the top of his head suggested that Mr Brown’s body was bent forward at the waist.

More: Photos showing extent of Darren Wilson's injuries released