Ferguson, Missouri Witnesses Describe Confrontation with Cop
At least two people who claimed to have witnessed a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer shoot an unarmed teen say that the teen had his hands in the air and was not acting provocatively when the officer fired his weapon multiple times.
A woman who told the media that she witnessed the Saturday shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown said that the teen had his hands in the air but the officer opened fire anyway.
"I saw him turn around with his arms up in the air, and they shot him in his face and chest, and he went down unarmed," Piaget Crenshaw told the local media.
Jon Belmar, chief of the St. Louis County Police Department, admitted that Brown was found to be unarmed after the still unidentified officer shot and killed him.
"Was the other subject, the deceased, the 18-year-old, armed with a handgun or rifle or any type of weapon at the time? The answer to that is no," the chief said. The chief also noted that the only shell casings recovered from the scene belonged to the officer.
A man claiming to be a second witness told a similar story to the young woman's above.
Dorin Johnson says he was with Michael Brown Saturday night when the Ferguson officer confronted them.
Johnson says that he and Brown were walking in the street talking when the officer cursed at them and told them to get off the street. Johnson says that that the officer skidded his car up to them, so close he couldn't get his door open, and then struggled with Brown through the window of the car door.
Johnson says that neither he nor Brown wanted to fight the officer, neither argued with the officer, and neither he nor Brown were armed; however, the officer came out of his car with gun drawn and firing with little provocation.
The teen also said that Brown had his hands up when he was shot several times by the officer.
Brown's father, Michael Brown Sr., said, "He was a good boy; he didn’t deserve none of this. We need justice for our son."
By Monday afternoon, the FBI announced that it was opening its own investigation into the shooting.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.