Saturday, April 4, 2015

People Who Admitted That Their Statements Were False

The US Justice Department's report about the Ferguson incident listed several people who gave statements and subsequently admitted that all or substantial parts of the statements were false. 

Here are excerpts (emphasis added):
Witness 119 is a 15-year-old black male. He initially told SLCPD [Saint Louis County Police Department] that he witnessed the shooting. However, he later recanted, telling federal agents and prosecutors that he lied to SLCPD detectives and just wanted to be involved in the investigation. ….. Witness 119 seemed to claim that Wilson shot Brown in the side from out of the window of the SUV, possibly while he was still driving. Wilson then chased after Brown and ultimately shot him in the head while Brown had his hands in the air. (Pages 49-50)
Witness 125 is a 23-year-old black female. She initially told law enforcement that she witnessed the shooting, but later recanted, claiming that she wanted to be involved from the outset and therefore lied to investigators. …. [She said] that Brown’s arms were by his waist, followed by his hands going up … while Brown was kneeling. (Pages 50-51)
Witness 131 is a 22-year-old black male …. who first told SLCPD detectives and then FBI agents that she saw Wilson shoot Brown while he had his hands in the air, and then admitted to county prosecutors that she lied to law enforcement and did not, in fact, see anything. (Page 51) 
Witness 122 is a 46-year old white male. … Witness 122 described Brown being shot in the back and “knew he had gotten hit.” … After learning about the autopsy [which showed no back wounds], he realized that Brown was not shot in the back and admittedly changed his account. …. Witness 122 described Brown as walking “dead on this feet, and then he just fell forward.” Later [Witness 122] admitted that [he] did not actually see Brown fall to the ground, because [his] view was obstructed by the corner of a building.(Pages 58-59) 
Witness 132 is a 25-year-old black male. … Witness said that …. Brown “punched into the police car” because he was angry. In return, the police officer … reached down and shot Brown. Witness 132 explained that Brown tried to run, but again, the officer shot Brown right where he stood, about five feet from the SUV. Brown half-turned, fell to this knees, and put his hands up. The officer shot Brown eight or nine more times. This all occurred on the passenger side of the vehicle. …. Witness 132 refused to meet with federal prosecutors and told the FBI that the events of August 9, 2014, were “blurry,” he could not remember what happened, and he was starting a new chapter in his life. (Pages 63-64)
Witness 126 is a 53-year-old black female. …. Witness 126 saw Brown on his knees with his hands up, as Wilson was coming toward him and shooting at him. Brown then fell face down to the ground. Wilson went over to him and … “finished him off.” … [Later] Witness 126 admitted that she initially lied. She stated that she never saw Wilson inflict gunshot wounds on Brown. (Pages 66-67)
Witness 128 is a 23-year-old black male … Brown appeared to get hit by four shots in the middle of his back. Brown “slowed up”and turned around …. Brown “threw his hands up, clean in the air.” …. Brown said, “Don’t kill me” … Wilson then fired two shots at “point blank range” from within two feet. ….. causing him to fall face down to the ground. … Wilson then stood over Brown and shot into his back …. [Later] Witness 128 said he may have hallucinated but could not offer more of an explanation. He also admitted that much of what he initially said was an assumption. (Pages 69-70)
Witness 140 is a 45-year-old white female. ….. Witness 140 also admitted to federal prosecutors that …. she posted comments on websites and Facebook about the shooting. Her comments were blatantly profane and racist. … Witness 140 acknowledged that she suffers from bouts of mania because she does not take her medicine for bipolar disorder …. (Pages 70 - 72)
Witness 120 was a 19-year-old black male. ….. He went to the window and saw Brown on his knees with his hands up, situated about five feet from the police vehicle. Brown said, “Please don’t shoot me,” and Wilson fired a shot into Brown’s head at “point blank” range. [Later Witness 120] explained that although he did not see the shots …. he based most of his recanted account on what people “in the community told” him. (Pages 74-75)


In later posts, I will call

* Witness 120 by the nick-name Best Friend

* Witness 122 by the nick-name Pipe Foreman

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