I am a subscriber of the NY Times and the Washington Post. These news media outlets pride themselves on accuracy, in depth reporting and superior fact checking capabilities.
These icons have let me down by underperforming in their investigation of the Michael Brown case. What happened to their professional pride?
Here area few examples:
Under the 11/25/14 NY Times, Q & A section, “What Happened in Ferguson,” the following is reported, “12:02 p.m., Officer Wilson makes a call to the dispatcher about the two men. He positions his SUV to block the two men as well as traffic.”
With a minimum of research, they would have discovered that the St. Louis County lead detective established Michael Brown’s death at 12:02 p.m. as per his police report # 14-43984, page 1. On page 165 of the same police report, the lead detective details how the police dispatch record of track 369 matches their cad stamped time of 12:01:50. Why isn’t the NY Times asking the question, does this mean that dispatch’s record keeping indicating the next timed event at 12:02:22, is post shooting and when the responding officers arrived?
Ferguson Police Department Event Report #14-12390 7140 Sick Case.
Location: Tower at 2491 St Cyr, 2 month old child that can’t breathe when she coughs.
11:45 Event opened by sending work area
11:48 ARRIVED ON SCENE
11:48 Set reminder for 300 seconds
11:48 ENROUTE TO SCENE
12:00 CLEAR UNIT
12:00 Complaint number “14-12390’ Assigned
12:00 Records Management Report Opened
12:00:07 Notes added (the address)
12 10:04 Reopen Incident
Copper creek Ct, Ferguson, Mo, Canfield Dr.
12:02:22 Arrive on Scene
8/9 12:04 EMS Contacted
OFFICER (21) 21, Put me on Canfield with two and send me another car.
DISPATCHER 21, you’re out on Canfield?
OFFICER (24) 24, I’m the closest.
DISPATCHER Clear. 24’s responding to your location on Canfield
OFFICER (25) 25, I’ll be going out on Canfield. (UI)
(OFFICER) 22’s out.
OFFICER (?) Where’s the other one?
Track 375 This track is blank on dispatch records.
DISPATCHER 10-4 Out on Canfield.
Then there is the FBI evidence found in Volume 24 of the grand jury transcript, page 18 which references an audio recording of 10 shots in the background captured on 8/9/14 by a local Ferguson resident who was using his smart phone with Glide technology. The Glide specialists have determined that the time of these shots was at 12:02:14. This is their official statement, “Because Glide is the only messaging application using streaming video technology, each message is simultaneously recorded and transmitted, so the exact time can be verified to the second…In this case the video in question was created at 12:02:14 p.m. on Saturday, August 9th.”
I have yet to have this confusion around the timeline explained. Is it possible for the White Police Officer Darren Wilson to have confronted the unarmed Black, older teenager, Michael Brown on 8/9/14 in Ferguson, MO. and to have fatally shot him in less than 24 second from 12:01:50 to 12:02:14 p.m. as per Glide experts? I have yet to have this confusion around the timeline explained by either the NY Times or the Washington Post.
Here is another example of the lack of thoroughness in their fact checking by NY Times reporters based on the 11/25/14 NY Times, Q & A section, “What Happened in Ferguson.” This article reports, “Some witnesses said Mr. Brown never moved toward Officer Wilson when he was shot and killed. Most of the witnesses said the shots were fired as he moved toward Officer Wilson. The St. Louis County prosecutor said the most credible witnesses reported that Mr. Brown charged toward the officer. Officer Wilson also said that Mr. Brown charged at him, making “a grunting, like aggravated sound.”
The above paragraph is cleverly worded by just quoting the St. Louis County Prosecutor, Robert McCulloch. A professional analysis would mean that the writer would have actually taken the time to read all the eye witness interviews without simply implying that the prosecutor was reliable in his fact sharing with the media.
After reading every FBI eye witness statement, I can say unequivocally that the majority of the credible eye witnesses assert that while Michael Brown was moving towards Officer Wilson, that he was not charging. After I had reviewed the eye witness FBI or other police interview transcripts, I personally counted at least 11 eyewitnesses that no prosecutor or defense attorney would ever allow near a courtroom if they like prevailing. I found that 9 credible eye witnesses were in agreement on the major facts including that Officer Wilson fired his gun towards Michael Brown’s back as he was fleeing plus 3 more who concurred with most of the facts except they do not recall Officer Wilson shooting at Michael Brown when he was running away.
The facts that all twelve of the eye witnesses agree on are: 1.) That Officer Wilson did approach Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson about walking in the middle of Canfield Drive followed up by the officer quickly reversing his police SUV to cut off the two young men; 2.) That there was a fight between Michael Brown and Officer Wilson while the young man was outside the driver’s side door with the window down and Officer Wilson was sitting inside; 3.) That Officer Wilson did fire his gun while inside the SUV at least 1 to 2 times and that this is probably where Michael Brown’s right hand was shot; 4.) That Michael Brown escaped from the officer’s hold and ran east towards the Canfield Green Apartments; 5.) That Officer Wilson exited his SUV with his firearm drawn and pursued Michael Brown on foot; 6.) That Michael Brown turned around at some point to face Officer Wilson; 7.) That Michael Brown raised his arms at least at shoulder level for a short time; and 8.) That Michael Brown moved, staggered, fell a few feet towards Officer Wilson while being shot multiple times. Then there is Witness 10 who fully concurs with Officer Wilson’s accounts including that Michael Brown was charging and Witness 48 who agrees that Michael Brown was charging; whereas 12 eye witnesses describe Michael Brown as moving towards Officer Brown but not charging.
Then there is the easy job of publishing a leaked story as per the ” Mr. Militant Negro” blog, the NY Times, and other media outlets, by an anonymous source. In this case, a source has leaked the story that the FBI officials investigating the case of any possible civil right’s violations by the former Police Officer Darren Wilson who fatally shot the unarmed, Black, older teenager, Michael Brown on 8/9/14 in Ferguson, MO., are recommending that this officer not face charges. The reports also indicate that our U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder hasn’t rendered a final decision. This is a leaked story with low hanging fruit but you would think these major newspapers would still expect their reporters to do some verification. Listen to the next story about the Washington Post.
On 10/1/14, the Washington Post published a similar story about George Zimmerman which turned out to be erroneous. However, on 10/2/2014, Letitia Stein of Reuters had contested the Washington Post assertions in her blog titled, “Civil rights charges unlikely for George Zimmerman.” Ms. Stein did contact the DOJ for verification that the DOJ was planning to not file any charges against George Zimmerman. A DOJ department spokeswoman, Dena Iverson countered the 10/1/2014 Washington Post article by stating, “The investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin is active and ongoing.” A competing news organization took the extra step to contact the DOJ spokesperson to discover that the Washington Post article was premature and about one month later, the Federal authorities convened a grand jury in Orlando, FL. to consider whether to charge George Zimmerman with any “civil rights” violations.
Both news organizations are perpetuating the myth of there being absolutely no gun shot wounds to the back of Michael Brown when there is physical evidence which could be interpreted as Michael Brown having been shot in the back. The famous Dr. Michael Baden’s testimony can be found in Vol. 23 of the grand jury transcript, pages 65-67. His words regarding item 83 in the autopsy report are: “And I think the next one ( back of right forearm entry wound) shows the controversial one…Well as to whether he was shot, people say from the back, no injuries to the back, but I interpret that as being from behind…This would support being shot from behind. It didn’t hit his back but from behind. I’m saying at the time of the shooting, the gun was pointed at the back of his arm, that’s all.”
Every one who has followed the 2014 Michael Brown case is familiar with the above diagrams which were shared with the media by law enforcement officials. You will notice that there is no marker on the dorsal (back side) of the right forearm which was noted in the text of the medical examiner’s report. I am convinced that this was a deliberate tactic by those favoring the Police Officer Darren Wilson’s version of events. Not only was this entry gun shot wound not marked on the diagram but investigators used this lie of no wounds in the back area to confuse eye witnesses whenever the witnesses would indicate that they saw Michael brown being shot in the back. The questioners would always drop the fact that the forensic evidence proved that there were no gun shot wounds in Michael Brown’s back. When they referred to the anatomy of the back, the back of the fore arm is never mentioned and so they were deliberately misleading the eye witnesses in an attempt to have the eye witnesses rethink what they saw. A good example of these dynamics can be found in the transcript pages 10-21 of the 11/11/14 police interview of Witness 64 who is young and who became doubtful when being confronted with the evidence of no gun shot wounds in Michael Brown’s back.
In the autopsy report by the St. Louis County Office of Medical Examiner, Exam Case # 2014-5143, on pages 3-4, the medical examiner lists the gun shot, back side injury sustained by Michael Brown on 8/9/2014.
8.) There is a gun shot entrance wound of the dorsal right fore arm. (Dorsal is the backside of the right fore arm).
LACK OF PROPER POLICE TRAINING:
Neither of these well established entities have covered how the Police Officer’s training contributed to the Ferguson events on 8/9/14. During the grand jury hearing as per Volume 5 of the grand jury transcript, starting on page 196, Officer Wilson admitted that he does not carry a Taser gun because it was too large and cumbersome to carry on his duty belt and this practice was not discouraged by his superiors. The training officer who testified as per Volume 22 of the grand jury transcript, pages 38-39, described how their police department expects their officers to pursue a suspect. It was obvious that he was not aware of the 1985 Supreme Court ruling of Tennessee v Garner which overturns all state statutes and which bars an armed police officer from pursuing an unarmed, fleeing suspect unless the officer or others are in imminent danger of serious bodily harm which was not the case in this instance.
I expected better from these news outlets and of course, I will be writing to their executives about how disappointed I am over their coverage of the Michael Brown, Ferguson case because there are numerous other examples of factual errors. As a consequence they have become the distributors of misinformation. The Ferguson tax paying community has been let down by their judicial and law enforcement officials, their state representatives and also, by the supposedly last bastion of truth telling, the establishment media exemplified by the New York Times and the Washington Post.
UPDATE 3/4/14: I have footnoted below a link to the entire DOJ investigative report regarding the Ferguson PD practices. We now know that the DOJ has decided to not file charges against Police Officer Darren Wilson and of course, George Zimmerman. I am convinced that in any future similar cases that a separate investigative law enforcement entity needs to be established.
Grand Jury Evidence – St. Louis Public Radio apps.stlpublicradio.org/ferguson-project/evidence.html
Civil rights charges unlikely for George Zimmerman …http://www.reuters.com/article/…/us-usa-florida-zimmerman-idUSKCN…Oct 2, 2014 – TAMPA Fla. (Reuters)
After Ferguson, police consider ‘tactical retreat’ instead of force in certain cases STLtoday.com – 1/24/15 By Christine Byers
Glide confirms time of “gunshots” recording in Ferguson,MO …upstart.bizjournals.com/…/glide–confirms-…South Florida Business Journal Aug 29, 2014 – Glide confirms time of “gunshots” recording in Ferguson, MO
Audio captured at time of Michael Brown shooting, company …http://www.cnn.com/2014/08/…/michael-brown-ferguson-shooting-audio/ Aug 28, 2014 – App: Audio near time of Ferguson shooting 03:33 … said Thursday the recording was created at the time the Missouri teenager was killed this month.
MICHAEL BROWN’S MEMORIAL TELLS THE STORY …grondamorin.com/…/michael–browns–memorial–tells-the-story–part–xi/ Jan 12, 2015 – MICHAEL BROWN’S MEMORIAL TELLS THE STORY, PART XI. by Gronda Morin.
START OF HYPOTHESIS ON 8/9/14 FERGUSON CASE …grondamorin.com/12/21/14 – START OF HYPOTHESIS ON 8/9/14 FERGUSON CASE WITH DISCUSSION OF WITNESSES, PART I. by Gronda Morin.
Justice Department Finds a Pattern of Civil Rights Violations by the Ferguson Police Department. The Justice Department announced the …