Sunday, April 5, 2015

The driver of a white Monte Carlo held the Market's door open for Brown and Johnson to exit

The Investigative Report about the Ferguson incident said that a closed-circuit television camera on the outside of the Ferguson Market and Liquor Store recorded the presence of a white Monte Carlo car during the time that Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson entered the store. No images of this video have been released to the public, but the video is described.

The Monte Carlo's driver, an African-American male, entered the store immediately before Brown and Johnson entered, and he exited the store immediately before Brown and Johnson exited. 
The moving footage captured from the camera depicts an apparent white Chevrolet, Monte Carlo, with front end damage, operated by an unknown black male. 
Based on the footage, the male enters the business just prior to Brown and Johnson and exited within seconds prior to Brown and Johnson. 
This male did not appear to be with Brown and Johnson; he appeared to be a customer who most likely witnessed the events that occurred inside. 
The white Monte Carlo leaves the parking lot at approximately 11:54:28. 
[Page 170; emphasis added]
We can see in the composite video that the Monte Carlo's driver enters the store 14 seconds before Brown, who enters two seconds before Johnson. The police investigators who made the composite video for release to the public began the video with the entrance of the Monte Carlo driver. The public was not aware that police investigators thought this person might be significant in the subsequent events. 

The composite video does not show the Monte Carlo's exit from the store. From 0:55 to 1:01, we see him walking from the far counter toward the front door, until he disappears below the camera's view. Then when the camera view switches at 1:26, we see the Monte Carlo driver holding the store's front door open. 
In my next article, I will calculate that the Monte Carlo driver stood and held the door open for about 25 seconds. 


Johnson, in his testimony to the grand jury, remarked that this man opened the store's door as Brown and Johnson were walking toward the door to exit. Because the clerk reached the door sooner, however, the man let the door close.
The store clerk is behind the counter. He was standing in front of the [cash] register.

I was standing right behind him [Brown].

There was another male inside the store. He had just purchased something.

He [the clerk] ... hit the top of some cigarillos, which made some of them fall.
 Big Mike [Brown] turned to pick them up, and as he picked those up, he faced towards the door. That's when I knew something is not right here. .... That's why I sat the box of cigarillos back on the counter.
Big Mike is making his way towards the door. The store clerk had came around, now he came around his register, and he's making his way to the door. He's not like running or anything like that -- more a pace-walking. ... He didn't get there yet.

A man -- like I said, there was another male customer in there at the time -- had just purchased something. As he's leaving out, he's holding the door open, like he's watching, but he's trying to get away at the same time. He didn't have nothing to do with it [the stealing of the cigarillos], but he is watching. I see him holding the door open.

As he let the door close, Big Mike was almost at the door. He [Brown] was going to put his hand on the door to push the door open.

By that time the store clerk had got around, and he [the clerk] was almost in front of the door. He [the clerk] didn't get there right directly in front of the door so much as put his hand on the door.

Big Mike thrushed the door open to where it [the door] slipped out of his [the clerk's] hand, so the door flew open.

[Pages 33, 35]
Johnson remarked about this man to the grand jury on his own initiative -- not in response to any questions about that man. By the time Johnson testified to the grand jury, he had seen this video many times, and he felt compelled to say something about him to the grand jury. 


I think that Johnson abruptly put his box of cigarillos onto the counter and left the store because the Monte Carlo driver signaled to him to do so. The Monte Carlo wanted Johnson to stay out of trouble and perceived that Brown was causing trouble. Johnson was a subordinate of the Monte Carlo driver and therefore complied. 


In this blog, I will argue that this white Monte Carlo at the store is the same white Monte Carlo that sheltered Johnson on Canfield Drive about seven minutes later. Keep in mind, however, the following considerations. 

1) On this occasion in the store, the Monte Carlo's driver is a male. On the occasion when Brown was being shot on Canfield Drive, the Monte Carlo's driver was a female, and its passenger was a male. 

2) Although the car was the same in the two places, the driver at the Market might be different from the passenger on Canfield Drive. 

3) The female driver and male passenger who were on Canfield Drive said they were far away from the store when it was being robbed. 

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