Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Monte Carlo's driver and passenger opened their doors

MC Passenger told investigators that after the first gunshot he told MC Owner that they both should open their car doors wide. Then they both opened their doors. 
MC Passenger  When I heard the first shot, I told her to back up and open the doors.
Detective  How many shots did you hear?
MC Passenger  The first time, [I heard] one. .... I told her to back the car back and open the doors up. She backs up. ....
Detective  Why did you open the doors?
MC Passenger  Because I didn't know what was going to transpire from there.
Detective  So, you guys did open the doors?
MC Passenger  Um hum [yes]. 
[Pages 12-13]
He told the grand jury that they both opened their doors in preparation for a second gunshot, so they would be able to lean down immediately.  
MC Passenger  From then [the first gunshot], I end up telling [MC Owner], "this don't seem right". 
After I heard that first shot, [I told her] "Back up, back up, and open your door". [I] open my door so we don't catch no shot ... 
Prosecutor  Why did you want the doors open?
MC Passenger  So we could duck.
Prosecutor  You felt you could duck better if the door was open?
MC Passenger  Yeah. ....
Prosecutor  .... What happened once you heard that first shot?
MC Passenger  Back up and open the doors. 
[Page 161-162]  
MC Passenger  [At the first shot], that's when I told her [MC Owner] to back-back, open the doors and basically take cover if we hear another one. 
[Page 188] 
Prosecutor  You opened your door. Did [MC Owner] open her door? 
MC Passenger  I told her to. ...  
Prosecutor  So you both just stayed in the car, but opened the doors 
MC Passenger  Right.  
He told detectives that she closed her door while Johnson was asking to get into the car. He did not say that he closed his own door. Rather, he indicated that he kept his passenger-side door open while the Monte Carlo drove around the police vehicle. He got out of the car to look at the scene and seemingly did not close his door until he got back in. 
Detective  Did your doors stay open the whole time during this? When did you close your car doors?
MC Passenger  She end up closing hers when I told him [Johnson] he couldn't get in. [She] closed her side. ....  
When we pulled to the side of the police car, then I got out and then looked  and seen him [Wilson] looking at his arms. .... I hopped back in. 
[Pages 27 - 28] 
Detective  You said both of you opened your doors, right?   
MC Passenger  Um hum [yes], from the first shot. From when we backed back. 
[Page 30]


MC Owner, in contrast, told an FBI special agent that said that she never opened her door.

FBI SA  At any point did you open your car door?
MC Owner  Oh, no, ma'am, I did not open up my driver's side of the car.
FBI SA  How about [MC Passenger]? Did he open his door? 
MC Owner  Yes, ma'am, he did. ... to get down. We were scared, terrified. ... I know he was hanging outside of the car, trying to get shelter. ... 
I was down, my whole head was in the passenger seat. So I'm almost on [MC Passenger's] lap. 
My hand is on the steering wheel, my feet is on the brake, I couldn't even put my car in park. That's how quick it happened. I just ducked down. .... 
[Pages 85-86]

It's puzzling that MC Passenger told MC Owner to open her door immediately after the first gunshot and furthermore advised her to lean out the open door if more gunshots were fired. Just look at the below photograph and try to understand such advice.  

Blue Line = Monte Carlo's position before the first gunshot.
The front seats were at the cross-bar.

After the first gunshot from the police vehicle,
the Monte Carlo's passenger told the driver to open her door and,
if a second gunshot was fired, to lean out of her open car door.
Much more sensible would be for MC Owner to keep her door closed and to lean down toward her car's center -- which is what she said she did.  

However, MC Passenger insisted that he told her to open her door and that she did so. 


MC Passenger's purported reason for opening his own door is likewise dubious. Just look at the above photograph. He was on the Monte Carlo's far side from the police vehicle, where the gunshots were being fired. 

If he thought that leaning out his car door was necessary because of gunshots, then why didn't he do so after the first gunshot instead of waiting for the second gunshot? He said he opened his door immediately after the first gunshot, intending to lean down if he heard a second gunshot. That explanation for opening his car door is nonsense. 


I offer the following speculative explanation. 

As soon as the Monte Carlo approached the police vehicle, MC Passenger told MC Owner to open her door so that they could hear Brown and Wilson. For some reason, opening the window was inconvenient or impossible. She opened her door for that purpose before the first gunshot. After that gunshot, she closed her door. 

MC Passenger opened his car door to invite Johnson to climb into the Monte Carlo. A mere 7:30 minutes earlier, on West Florissant Avenue, MC Passenger had opened that same door for that same reason. 

Thus each car door was opened for a separate reason. MC Owner closed her door after the first gunshot. MC Passenger kept his door open (but not wide open) until after the Monte Carlo drove around Wilson's police vehicle. 

Afterwards, MC Owner and MC Passenger became concerned that nearby people had seen their Monte Carlo participating in the incident -- in particular, had seen the car doors being opened wide. Therefore, MC Owner and MC Passenger concocted a false explanation for opening the doors. Eventually MC Owner abandoned that explanation, but MC Passenger stuck to it through his grand-jury testimony. 

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