Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Sequence of Events on Canfield Drive

Police Officer Darren Wilson estimated in his testimony to the grand jury that the entire incident lasted less than one minute.
Prosecutor  How many minutes or seconds from  the time that you saw them walking down the street until Michael Brown is dead in the street? 
Wilson  I would say less than one minute. 
Prosecutor  Less than one minute?  
Wilson  Uh-huh [yes].  
[Page 272]
Wilson estimated the same one-minute duration also in earlier statements to investigators. 


Near-Sighted and MC Passenger estimated that the confrontation between Wilson and Michael Brown at the police vehicle lasted about about 15 seconds. I will use their estimates. Near-Sighted said also that Dorian Johnson ran away very early in that 15-second period. 

According to the dispatcher's Event Report (page 17), Wilson's initial call about his encounter occurred at 12:01:50 ("Open"), and Policeman McDonald arrived at the scene 32 seconds later, at 12:02:22 ("Arrival"). Policeman McDonald said he heard the final four gunshots when he was driving through Canfield Drive's 3000 block. I will estimate that he heard the gunshots at around 12:02:15.

Combining the above times provides the following rough one-minute time-line:


12:01:15 = Wilson encounters Johnson and Brown walking in street

12:01:20 = Wilson drives backward and blocks Johnson and Brown

12:01:25 = Brown begins 15-second attack on Wilson. Johnson walks backward to curb.

12:01:30 = Johnson runs away.

12:01:35 = Strange, loud noise at police vehicle attracts attention

12:01:40 = Wilson fires first gunshot from inside police vehicle

12:01:43 = Brown runs away from the police vehicle

12:01:45 = Wilson fires second gunshot from inside his police vehicle

12:01:50 = Wilson, sitting in his police vehicle, calls the dispatcher

12:01:55 = Wilson begins chasing Brown down the street

12:02:15 = final four gunshots

After Johnson ran away from the police vehicle at 12:01:30, he ran quite a distance during the ten seconds until the first gunshot at 12:01:40. He ran to the front of 9391 Canfield Drive and then across the street to the area near the tree.

Johnson was standing behind the Monte Carlo when Brown ran past it at about 12:01:45.


PV = Police Vehicle
MC = Monte Carlo (movement backward after the first gunshot)
Red line = Dorian Johnson's run
from the police vehicle
to the Monte Carlo
I elaborate the sequence of events related to Johnson's run as follows. 

1) Johnson gathered the cigarillos from the police vehicle's roof and from Brown's left hand (12:01:27). He backed away from the vehicle to the south sidewalk (12:01:29). Johnson perceived that Brown essentially was just holding the door shut so that Johnson could escape with the cigarillos. Then Johnson ran (12:01:30) laughing to the front of 9391 Canfield Drive (12:01:35). MC Passenger watched that part of Johnson's run. 

2) Johnson and MC Passenger heard a loud noise (12:01:35). Johnson stopped running and looked back. MC Passenger turned his attention away from Johnson and back to the police vehicle. Visiting Sister-in-Law heard a loud noise and began watching the police vehicle. 

3) Johnson realized that the situation might not be just a cigarillo-hide-and-seek game any more. Johnson could not see Brown or Wilson, who are on the vehicle's far side. Johnson ran north across the street to look from that different perspective. He stopped in the area between the street's north sidewalk and the tree (12:01:38). At this point, Balcony Brother noticed Johnson.

4) Immediately after the first gunshot (12:01:40), MC Owner backed up the Monte Carlo for a short distance and stopped. MC Passenger opened his door, and both MC Owner and MC Passenger ducked down.

5) When Johnson saw the Monte Carlo's passenger door open, he ran toward the car's passenger side, intending to hide inside the car. During that run, Balcony Brother retreated from his balcony back into his apartment.

6) Johnson reached the Monte Carlo's passenger side (12:01:43). He stopped close behind MC Passenger, who was leaning out and hiding behind his open door. 

7) Brown, having been wounded by the first gunshot, punched Wilson again through the police vehicle's open window. When Brown saw Wilson trying to un-jam his gun, Brown ran (12:01:43) around the police vehicle and began running down Canfield Drive. 

8) Wilson un-jammed his pistol and, in order to verify its correct operation, fired (12:01:45) a test bullet through his open window into the dirt beyond the street. Brown was running past the Monte Carlo back end. Brown saw Johnson and said, "keep running, bro'". Johnson saw blood splatters on Brown's right arm and on the right side of Brown's shirt. Johnson guessed mistakenly that Brown had been shot in the upper-right chest.  

9) Johnson ducked down, next to the Monte Carlo's passenger side, behind MC Passenger (12:01:47).

10) Wilson sent a radio call, "Put me on Canfield with two and send another car" (12:01:50), got out of his vehicle and started chasing Brown (12:01:55).

11) Wilson ran past the Monte Carlo (12:01:57)

12) MC Passenger climbed into the Monte Carlo's rear seat, enabling Johnson  to climb into the Monte Carlo and hide down in front of the passenger seat (12:02:00) Thus hiding, Johnson did not see the following event. 

12) Brown stopped running for a moment. Having heard the second gunshot, he turned around to look back. He put his hand onto a car that was behind the Monte Carlo. He kicked off his flip-flops and continued running.  (I will tell this event in a later post.)

13) Balcony Brother returned from inside his apartment back out onto his balcony (12:02:05) and focused on Brown and Wilson.  Balcony Brother assumed, but did not see, that Johnson must have disappeared into the Monte Carlo. 

15) Brown stopped and turned around. He began charging at Wilson (12:02:09). 

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