What Ferguson Grand Jury Saw, Heard

Including photos of Darren Wilson's face
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 25, 2014 2:31 AM CST
Updated Nov 25, 2014 6:45 AM CST
What Ferguson Grand Jury Saw, Heard
A photo from Wilson's medical examination after the shooting.   (Ferguson Police Department)

Why did the grand jury decide against indicting Darren Wilson? Soon after the decision was announced, the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney's office released thousands of pages of evidence that had been presented to the jurors over 25 days of meetings that included testimony from around 60 witnesses. Some key points, as reported by the AP, CNN, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

  • Wilson said he feared for his life after Michael Brown punched him twice in the face and slammed the door on him as he tried to get out of his cruiser. "I felt that another of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse," the officer said. "I've already taken two to the face and I didn't think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right." (Much more on Wilson's testimony here.)

  • In a gallery of photos from the officer's medical examination after he shot the teenager, Wilson appears to have a bruise (described as a "facial contusion") on the right side of his face and abrasions on his neck.
  • Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time, testified that he saw the teenager struggle with Wilson, and "I'm hearing cuss words from both of them, but I don't really hear the officer saying you know, stop or get down on the ground." He said he didn't see Brown run at Wilson, but saw him take a step toward him "to show him that he didn't have anything."
  • Another witness who was working nearby gave an account that resembles Wilson's, saying he saw Brown do a "body gesture" of some kind and immediately after, "he came for force, full charge at the officer."
  • One juror asked the officer why he didn't just drive away. "My thought is, I was still dealing with a threat at my car," Wilson said. "You know, we're trained not to run away from a threat, to deal with a threat and that is what I was doing. That never entered my mind to flee."
  • The final witness was a homicide detective who investigated the shooting, and jurors asked him a long series of questions. "This officer felt he was in danger of being beaten to death sitting in his car, you could almost say there was a weapon involved at that point, that's where I'm confused a little bit," one juror said. "I understand no weapon in the form of a pistol or a handgun, if you are in danger, that your life was in danger that you are being beaten to death, is there a weapon or not?"
(More Ferguson, Missouri stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.