It remains not only valid – but essential – to question how such a strong alternative version of events was able to take hold so swiftly, and be accepted so readily.
Johnson's bad character is illustrated by another series of events that began on June 24, 2011, about three years before the Ferguson incident. Johnson stole a FedEx delivery from a residence in Jefferson City, Missouri, where he was attending college. KTVI's investigative journalist Chris Hayes reported (emphasis added):
It started behind the Jefferson City YMCA, where Kelly Lewis, a maintenance man said he saw someone, later identified as Dorian Johnson, carrying a FedEx box from a nearby apartment complex.
“He picked the package up off D section, which I knew the lady that lived there, so I knew it wasn’t his package,” Lewis said.
Lewis said he followed and called police as he watched Johnson dump the box behind the YMCA.
A Jefferson City police report documents 19-year-old Dorian Johnson saying his “name was Derrick,” then claiming “he was 16.” Police said he then gave a “date of birth” which “would mean he was 17″ and told police “he had no identification.”
Lewis remembered, “He never told them the truth,” and described watching the runaround for about one hour.
“I looked down at his sock. I remember that’s where people carry IDs,” Lewis said. “I told the police officer that. I said I think his ID is in his sock, so the police officer checked it. He got out his ID and found out who he was.”
The Lincoln University student ID reportedly read “Dorian J. Johnson,” but the police report states Johnson said he was holding the ID card for someone else. ....
The police report shows it continued at the jail where Johnson signed a court summons with his false name “Derrick.” Then a Lincoln University police officer reportedly walked in the room. The report states, “Due to previous contacts with Johnson, he immediately recognized him as Dorian J. Johnson.”
Johnson pleaded guilty to making false statements. The theft case remains open [in September 2014] with an active arrest warrant for failing to appear.WND provided more details about the status of that case (emphasis added):
Johnson was arrested June 24, 2011, and a trial was set for July 31, 2013, but he did not appear in court, authorities said.
According to the arrest report, Dorian J. Johnson, 22, was arrested June 24, 2011, by Jefferson City, Missouri, police after a report of a suspect walking away from an apartment with a package that contained a backpack. Police reported Johnson lied to them about his identity.
.... Johnson’s attorney, former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., acknowledged his client had been arrested in Jefferson City for theft of a parcel. Bosley insisted the case was “resolved.”
“He was held in jail in St. Louis for 14 days, waiting on Cole County to come get him, based on the warrant,” Bosley said. “They never came, so the city let him go.”
... There is an order for Johnson’s extradition if he is arrested within a 50-mile radius of Jefferson City. Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, is more than 100 miles from Jefferson City.Johnson's testimony to the grand jury about this theft provides a good example of his chronic lying and non-cooperation to police officers. He himself says he refused to answer police questions when he was arrested for the theft. Later he offered to admit the theft if he could do his probation in Saint Louis instead of Jefferson City.
Prosecutor You mentioned something the grand jurors may want to factor. You said something about a criminal record?
Johnson Yes, because I stay watching the news and media outlets. I see they dug through years in my past to see an incident that happened in Jefferson City. What they fail, they keep leaving out, is I was a freshman in college at this time. Everybody makes crazy little moves their freshman year. I was just beginning, I was getting out. I was breaking out of my kid years, just being on my own around new people -- Atlanta people, Washington people, people I never see on a daily basis. I'm from St. Louis. ....
Basically all I keep seeing is slander on my name.
Prosecutor We don't want to slander you, but we just want all the information we can get. What is the nature of the thing in Jefferson City? What happened?
Johnson There was just basically me walking with a group of kids that I knew. We were going to a YMCA to play basketball. I didn't have membership there. They actually had membership there.
We are walking through some apartments. One of the guys grabbed a package and ripped it open.
As we are walking towards the YMCA, I see a pool guy. He sees us, but he doesn't see anything in our hand or anything like that. He sees us walking from out of the apartments going towards the gym.
I guess whoever's-package-it-was made the call saying someone had stole something off their property or something like that. And I guess he [the pool guy] took it in his own mind that "I [the pool guy] just saw these guys [Johnson's group] coming out of those apartments".
They [police officers] went to run the YMCA cameras to see who had just recently walked in, I did not pay to get in, even though I was supposed to. I just walked right on past, go down to the gym, to play basketball. The police came and ran the camera back and saw, like, "he [Johnson] didn't pay or this [Johnson's] group right here [didn't pay]". They came down and they grabbed basically the last group [Johnson's group].
Prosecutor Did you get charged with that [not paying the YMCA's entry fee]?
Johnson I did not get charged with it, but I had to go to court on two charges.
I had a false report to an officer. I had a stealing charge. They were trying to see if I was the one that had stole it [the FedEx delivery]. I was going to court.
... I had been fed up with being stopped by off-campus police and on-campus police because of the stereotypical they look at people from St. Louis. And being stopped every day, being late for class and having to remake up work.
I just said: "You know what, Jefferson City school, Lincoln University, was not for me at the time. So I left, still having to come back to court in Jefferson City. ....
I don't have a charge for the City or County of St. Louis, but when they [police officers] run my name, they see Jefferson City. They detain me sometimes. Some police officers let me go. A couple police officers, they detain me, but Jefferson City never come and get me. ...
When I got locked up, I got to the Jefferson City probation [department] about the stealing. I was in the middle of asking the judge, can I do my probation in St. Louis because I was not from Jefferson City. In the middle of that [plea-bargain negotiation] we kind of lost contact, lost communication. .....
Prosecutor You had mentioned the stealing thing, and then you said a false police report. Is that the same incident?
Johnson That was the same incident, with the officer who ... put me in the car and took me down to the station.
I had both my school campus ID and my state ID in possession of me. When the officer asked me my name, I didn't say anything so much as just handed him my identification.
I was mad at the time. I was a freshman in college. I'm kind of angry with the police, so I don't really want to say anything to them. I know that he is going to ask me for my identification, so I hand him my school ID and both my state ID at the same time. He is looking at both of them, he's looking at me.
I have a very distinguished feature about me, I have one of my eyes, I have a cataract, one of them is blue and the other one is brown. It is like that on both my picture ID, I have to distinguish color on my eyes. I'm sure he can see that. ... I know he can tell that this is me.
He actually called campus security from Lincoln University, they also came down and verified that's him [Johnson]. We seen him walking around on campus.
Because I never said nothing to the officer, he took that as disobedience. He [the police officer] was, like, you are not going to tell me anything, so I'm just going to write down that you gave me a false report.
Me being a freshman and not really wanting to talk to him, I just kind of shrug my shoulders, not thinking to much of it until it got to court, and it was, like, this is serious. But the judge threw that one out of court. I never got charged for that or anything.
[Pages 171 - 176; emphasis added]Already in his first as a college freshman, Johnson earned a notorious reputation as a trouble-maker. He himself said that campus police officers stopped him "every day" (Johnson's words). His bogus explanation for the campus police's special focus on him was that he was from Saint Louis.
In front of a group of friends, he grabbed a FedEx delivery from someone's home, ripped open the package, and stole the backpack that was inside the package. Later, to the grand jury, he justified this theft as typical behavior for a college freshman.
He went into the YMCA and used the facilities without buying a membership or for an entrance fee.
When detained for the theft, he gave a false identification card and refused to answer the police officers' questions.
Back in Ferguson, he continued to have frequent encounters with police officers.
He failed to show up to court on the theft charge. Later he offered to plea-bargain on the condition that he would do his probation in Saint Louis.
He lied about this theft while testifying under oath to the grand jury investigating the Ferguson incident.
Johnson is a chronic liar and trouble-maker.