Sunday, April 5, 2015

Brown was not seen walking north at 11:55

The telephone call from the Market's female clerk to the police dispatcher began at 11:51:57 a.m. As the police dispatcher was questioning the clerk, while Brown and Johnson still were on the store's premises, the dispatcher broadcast the following radio report to the area's police officers (Track 349):
We're taking a stealing-in-progress from 9101 West Florissant. .... Subject may be leaving the business at the time. Stand by for further. 
As the end of the phone conversation, the dispatcher typed the following note at 11:52:53 a.m. (Page 15 of 19, Event Report, Stealing in Progress).
white shirt b/m qt box cigars
This note meant that the suspect -- a Black male in a white t-shirt and carrying a box of cigars -- was headed from the Market at 9101 West Florissant Avenue toward the QuikTrip ("qt" in the note) store at 10768 West Florissant Avenue. Before that note was written at 11:52:53, the male clerk had seen Brown and Johnson cross the street and head north. 

Brown was a wearing a white t-shirt and was 6'4" tall.  

At 11:55:06, the policeman could not see Brown
walking north on West Florissant Avenue.
Brown was 6'4" tall and wearing a white t-shirt
and bright yellow socks.

Brown and Johnson reached the corner of West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive at 11:56 and then turned right onto Canfield Drive.  

Walking north, Brown and Johnson reached
the corner of West Florissant Avenue and Canfield Drive
at 11:56 a.m.
Meanwhile, the Event Report (Page 15) recorded that a police officer -- I call him Policeman McDonald -- accepted the dispatch request at 11:53:54 and arrived at the Market at 11:54:51 a.m. -- an interval of only 57 seconds.

The Event Report listed the times for
Open = 11:51:57
Dispatch = 11:53:54
Enroute = 11:53:54
Arrival 11:54:51
The conversation between the dispatcher and Policeman McDonald was recorded as follows:
Track 349 = Policeman in Park Ridge.
Track 350 = Policeman at Market.
Track 351, 352, 353 = Policeman on West Florissant Avenue
Track 354 = Policeman thinks suspect maybe went to McDonald's

UI = Unintelligible
(Each of these tracks had a specific time, but those times were not provided to the public. A few of the the track times were mentioned during the testimony to the grand jury. The clock for these tracks was many minutes different from the main dispatch clock, so a decision was made to delete the tracks' times, in order to minimize confusion. If the clocks had been synchronized and if each track's exact time had been specified, then this analysis would be much easier.)  

I figure that Policeman McDonald's entire drive included the following movements. 

Policeman McDonald drove from Parkridge Apartments Complex's main gate
to the Ferguson Market and Liquor store in less than one minute.

My speculated route of the police officer
who responded to the 911 dispatch
In Track 349, Policeman McDonald responded, "I'm right here," because he was at nearby Parkridge Apartments. Within one minute, he "responded to the location" -- he drove into the Market's parking lot at 11:54:51. He remained in his police vehicle and talked with the dispatcher, who told him to look for "a black male in a white t-shirt running toward QuikTrip" (Track 350).

Policeman McDonald immediately drove back out of the Market's parking lot, drove east to West Florissant Avenue and turned north (toward QuikTrip) at about 11:55:00. As he drove north, he looked for the suspect and talked with the dispatcher (Tracks 351, 352, 353)

At 11:55:06, the dispatcher typed a note that Policeman McDonald had told her that nobody was walking northbound in a white T-shirt. (Review the Event Report at the beginning of this article, specifically the Incident Notes in the lower part.) This note corresponds with Track 353. 

In the above series of tracks, Track 354 is blank ("UI" = "unintelligible) , because the transcriber could not understand the recording. However, when the dispatcher testified to the grand jury, the dispatcher (rather than the transcriber) listened to the track's audio recording and interpreted it as follows:
Prosecutor Can you hear what they're saying? 
Dispatcher Yes. 
Prosecutor What did they say? 
Dispatcher They're saying "Mickey D's". 
Prosecutor Do you know what he means by Mickey D's or what do you assume he means? 
Dispatcher He means McDonald's, which was right next door to the Ferguson Market. Possibly he was inferring that the subject may have gone into the McDonald's. 
[Page 123]
Already during the conversations recorded on Tracks 351, 352 and 353, Policeman McDonald evidently was reasoning that the suspect -- who could not be seen walking north -- perhaps had detoured into the vicinity of the McDonald's restaurant. 

In Track 354, Policeman McDonald told the dispatcher that he intended to look around the McDonald's restaurant. As soon as he drove into the parking lot, he surely paused and looked north again from this different vantage point. He still did not see a black male wearing a white T-shirt. 

I think that Policeman McDonald then drove to the parking lot's rear end and then circled around and returned to the Market (see the image above).


When Policeman McDonald returned to the Market, he interviewed the two clerks. Based on those interviews, he later wrote an Offense/Incident Report that included descriptions of his own actions. Some of the words were whited-out in the copy that was released to the public, but most of those words can be guessed.
The police officer drove from the Park Ridge Apartment Complex
to the Market, where the dispatcher radioed to him
a description of the suspect,
"a black male in a white t-shirt walking northbound".
The police officer did not see the suspect in that area. 
In the above part of the Offense/Incident Report, Policeman McDonald described his own initial movements as follows:
On 08/09/2014 at approximately 11:51 hours, while on a call in the Park Ridge Apartment Complex, immediately located behind [words whited-out], I received a call for a stealing in progress at [Ferguson Market] ([9101] W Florissant Ave). 
I responded to that location and was given a description by dispatch of a B/M [Black male] in a white t-shirt walking northbound on W Florissant, toward QuickTrip ([9420] W Florissant Ave). I did not see the suspect in the area, so I returned to [Ferguson Market] to contact the employee there. 
Policeman McDonald's estimate that he received the call at 11:51 is mistaken. The dispatcher's broadcast about the stealing-in-progress occurred at 11:53:54.


In Track 352, Policeman McDonald asked the dispatcher whether the female clerk could provide any more details about the suspect. In Track 353, the dispatcher told Policeman McDonald that the female clerk on the phone could not provide more details to the dispatcher and so Policeman McDonald would have to go into the Market and ask the clerks for further details.  

Policeman McDonald therefore drove to the Market, went inside and questioned the clerks. Then he forwarded those details to the dispatcher, who typed following Incident Note (see the Event Report at the beginning of this article) at 11:57:45.

08/09/2014  11:57:47  Suspect wearing red Cards [Cardinals] cap, yellow socks, w/another male suspect walking towards QT [QuikTrip] at this time.
Based on this time, I estimate that Policeman McDonald completed his drive around the McDonald's restaurant and then came into the Market at about 11:57. 


I summarize the sequence of events as follows (1:45 is subtracted from the Market's video clock, to match the police dispatch clock):

11:52:15 -- Brown and Johnson exit the Market while the female clerk already is talking by phone with the 911 dispatcher. 

11: 52:29 -- The male clerk exits the Market and watches Brown and Johnson walking out of the parking lot, toward the McDonald's. 

11:52:30 -- The dispatcher broadcasts the stealing-in-progress report (Track 349). The male clerk yells to Brown and Johnson that the police are being called. The clerk hopes that Brown and Johnson still might return to the store to give back or to pay for the cigarillos.   

11:52:43 -- The white Monte Carlo begins to drive out of the Market's parking lot.

11:52:45 -- Brown and Johnson cross the Avenue and reach a point across from the McDonald's restaurant. They continue walking north. 

11:52:47 -- The male clerk stops watching and goes back into the store, where he informs the female clerk, who informs the 911 dispatcher, that Brown and Johnson are on the street's far side, walking north toward the QuikTrip store.  

11:52:53 -- The 911 dispatcher types a note -- "white shirt b/m qt box cigars" [black male wearing a white shirt and carrying a box of cigars walking toward QuickTrip]. 

11:53:00 -- The white Monte Carlo turns north from Ferguson Avenue onto West Florissant Avenue.

11:53:15 -- The white Monte Carlo passes Brown and Johnson as they are walking north. Perhaps the driver paused to talk with Brown and Johnson.    

11:53:54 -- Policeman McDonald responds that he would accept the dispatch and that he is enroute immediately toward the Market. 

11:54:51 -- Policeman McDonald reports to the dispatcher that he has arrived at the Market. The dispatcher responds that the suspect is a Black male in a white t-shirt who is carrying a box of cigars and running toward the QuikTrip (Track 350).

11:55:00 -- Policeman McDonald turns north onto West Florissant Avenue.

11:55:06 -- Policeman McDonald tells the dispatcher that he does not see anybody in a white T-shirt to the north.

11:55:59 -- Brown and Johnson, walking, reach the corner and turn east onto Canfield Drive. 

11:57:00 -- Policeman McDonald, having looked north and then having circled around the McDonald's restaurant, enters the Market to question the witnesses.

11:57:47 -- Having interviewed the two clerks, Policeman McDonald tells the dispatcher new details about Brown (cap, socks, another male).

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