Sunday, April 5, 2015

An eyewitness saw the Monte Carlo turn around on Canfield Drive

A male eyewitness was questioned by two FBI special agents on August 18 and by the grand jury (page 226) on November 4, 2014. The grand jury designated him as Witness 54, and the US Justice Department designated him as Witness 129. I will call him Stairwell Man.

He lived in a second-story apartment and was sitting on his stairwell when the incident began on Canfield Drive. (My previous article described the apartment buildings' standard features.)

Stairwell Man began watching the incident when Police Officer Darren Wilson stopped his vehicle to admonish Dorian Johnson and Michael Brown to walk on the sidewalk. Because some of his view was blocked by another building, he could not see Brown and Wilson after they ran far east on Canfield Drive. 

The Justice Department's report evaluated him as credible, but remarked that he did not see Police Officer Darren Wilson do anything blameworthy.
Witness 129's statements were materially consistent with each other and consistent with other credible evidence. However, Witness 129's account does not inculpate Wilson and therefore does not support a federal prosecution. 
[Page 43]
Stairwell Man's location can be deduced from a remark told to the grand jury that he saw Brown kick off his flip-flop sandals.
Stairwell Man  The altercation is still going on, because Mike Brown never left the truck.After that, I see Mike Brown run east and his flip-flops fall off. And then he keeps going past the building where I couldn't see him any more.  
That's when I seen the officer get out of the truck and fire more shots. 
Prosecutor  You mentioned that you saw his flip-flops come off?
Stairwell Man  Yes. 
[Pages 239 - 241]
Because another building blocked his view, Stairwell Man could not see, however, Wilson fire the final, fatal gunshots. 

Stairwell Man could see Brown kick off his flip-flop sandals (blue dots).
Because a building blocked his view, however,
he could not see Wilson fire the final, fatal gunshots.

Below is another view of the sandals' locations.

Marker 6 is Brown's left sandal.
Marker 7 is Brown's right sandal.

Stairwell Man saw Brown kick off both sandals,
but could not see Wilson fire the final, fatal gunshots.
Stairwell Man told the grand jury that Wilson got out of his police vehicle and soon began shooting at Brown's back as Brown was running away. Then Wilson passed beyond Stairwell Man's vision, which was blocked by another building. Wilson reappeared in view briefly and then disappeared again and resumed shooting. 
Prosecutor  Can you see the officer the whole time he's shooting?
Stairwell Man  Not the whole time, because after he does the first set of shots and then he runs in this direction east and then he fires more shots. 
And then I see him walking back towards my vision.
Prosecutor  So at some point he disappears from your sight because of the building that's between the two of you?
Stairwell Man  Correct.
Prosecutor  And you hear more gunshots after that?
Stairwell Man  Yes. 
[Page 247] 

Based on the above information, I identify Stairwell Man's apartment as follow.

From the stairwell, the view
to the police vehicle and Monte Carlo was good.

The two vehicles were
to the left of the parking lot's driveway
(beyond the photograph's left margin). 
You can see the above photograph uncropped here.

Blue = Police Vehicle
Red = white Monte Carlo
Green = Stairwell Man's maximum eastward line of sight

"I remember seeing the white car turn around in the street"
You can see the above photograph uncropped here.


I will describe most of Stairwell Man's statement in later articles. In this article here, I will point out only a couple remarks he made about the white Monte Carlo's initial movements.


Stairwell Man told the grand jury that the Monte Carlo was not present when he began watching the incident. The Monte Carlo arrived a short time later. 
Prosecutor  Did you see any other car, other people, down there?
Stairwell Man  Initially when the police truck stopped, it wasn't a car, but then after the traffic started coming through, I remember seeing a white car, because the second guy [Johnson], when the first shot was fired, he ran and got behind the car. 
[Page 239]

At the end of Stairwell Man's grand-jury testimony, a juror asked whether he noticed a minivan drive into the parking lot during the incident. To all those present who had listened to all the previous witnesses, the question obviously sought to clarify the location and movements of Tiffany Mitchell. She had claimed that she drove into the parking lot while Brown still was struggling with Wilson at the police vehicle. 

In answering the grand juror's question, Stairwell man remarked casually that he had seen the white Monte Carlo turn around on Canfield Drive.
 Grand Juror  Right after the altercation -- maybe during the altercation -- at the car, did you see a minivan pull into that parking lot right directly in front of where you had been sitting and someone get out of that minivan? Or did you see anybody pulling out of that lot during this time?
Stairwell Man  I think somebody tried to come that way and turned around. 
I remember seeing the white car turn around in the street, but --
Grand Juror  [Interrupting] Someone coming from that direction -- coming from West Florissant -- that pulled into that lot?
Stairwell Man  I really can't say. ... 
[Pages 257-258]
Unfortunately, the grand juror interrupted Stairwell Man as he begin to explain something about the white Monte Carlo turning around in the street. Stairwell Man's testimony never returned to that question. 

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