MICHAEL BROWN

 

Ferguson police haven’t yet interviewed Dorian Johnson, the friend who was with Michael Brown on the night he was shot by police, Johnson’s lawyer tells MSNBC’s Trymaine Lee.

Freeman Bosley, Johnson’s attorney, told msnbc that the police have yet to interview Johnson. Bosley said that he offered the police an opportunity to speak with Johnson, but they declined.

“They didn’t even want to talk to him,” said Bosley, a former mayor of St. Louis. “They don’t want the facts. What they want is to justify what happened … what they are trying to do now is justify what happened instead of trying to point out the wrong. Something is wrong here and that’s what it is.”

 
 

Johnson, 22, was walking with Brown in the street on Saturday when the two encountered police. Police have claimed that Brown assaulted one of the officers and reached for his gun. Johnson’s story differs greatly from the police’s version of events — he says that the police told them to “get the fuck onto the sidewalk,” grabbed Brown and began choking him when they didn’t immediately obey, and shot Brown when the 18-year-old tried to flee.

“We wasn’t causing no harm to nobody,” Johnson told CBS News on Sunday. “We had no weapons on us at all. He shot again and once my friend felt that shot he turned around and put his hands in the air and started to get down, and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

Other witnesses also said that Brown had his hands up in the air when he was shot.

In a new, lengthy interview with MSNBC, Johnson provides more detail about what happened that night.

 

Today 7:28 PM EDT

Officer Was A 6-Year Veteran

From the AP:

Missouri police are releasing a few more details about the officer who fatally shot an unarmed teenager but are still not identifying him.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the officer had been with the force for about six years and was on a routine patrol when he encountered Michael Brown Jr. and a friend walking in the street.

Authorities have said previously that a scuffle ensued after the officer asked the teens to move to the side. Witnesses have said Brown’s hands were raised when he was shot multiple times.

Witnesses also have said the officer was white. The youths were black.

Jackson says the Ferguson police force has 53 officers, of which just three are black. He said the city has had trouble recruiting and retaining black officers.

 
 

The Riverfront Times reports:

The heavily armed police officer in riot gear was not amused.

“You guys are in the middle of a war zone,” he told Daily RFT. We — along with two other journalists and two Ferguson residents — had just emerged from a wall of shrubbery 50 feet away from the officer, who stood watch with several other heavily-armed cops in a grassy lot overlooking the beleaguered suburb. We had crept into the restricted area through a hole in a fence and down a muddy path. He ordered us to leave.

 
 
Today 6:33 PM EDT

No Words

Today 5:03 PM EDT

‘Heartbreaking’

Obama released a statement on Tuesday, urging people to “talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds”

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time. As Attorney General Holder has indicated, the Department of Justice is investigating the situation along with local officials, and they will continue to direct resources to the case as needed.
I know the events of the past few days have prompted strong passions, but as details unfold, I urge everyone in Ferguson, Missouri, and across the country, to remember this young man through reflection and understanding. We should comfort each other and talk with one another in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds. Along with our prayers, that’s what Michael and his family, and our broader American community, deserve.

 
 

Read more here.

Federal law enforcement officials said they may activate a wide review of police tactics, including the use of deadly force, USA Today reports. The review would be led by the Department of Justice and would seek to address police conduct with the mentally ill, the use of technology in law enforcement, and anti-terrorism measures. Officials are to decide on creating the review commission byearly 2015, the officials told USA Today. The report of the potential review comes at a time of growing concern over police’s use of deadly force, such as was seen in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York.

Today 4:34 PM EDT

Obama Releases Statement

The St. Louis County Police said the preliminary cause of death for Michael Brown was an unspecified number of gunshot wounds.

A full toxicology report is expected in the next four weeks, a producer with KSDK reported.

The Federal Aviation Administration banned flight travel under 3,000 feet in the airspace over Ferguson, Missouri to “provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities.” The effective date of the ban is from Aug. 12 to Aug. 18.