Monday, May 4, 2015

Michael Brady's fiancée saw Johnson jump into the Monte Carlo

A 23-year-old African-American woman watched about 15 seconds of the incident from a second-story apartment. The grand jury designated her as Witness 25, and the US Justice Department designated her as Witness 124. Since she is the fiancée of a witness with a known name -- Michael Brady -- I will call her Fiancée Brady

She eventually made various false statements. She actually saw and comprehended only a few moments of the incident, but she gradually padded her story with stuff -- Michael Brown raised his hands to surrender and so forth -- that she heard from other people. The Justice Department's report ultimately decided that she had become so unbelievable that all of her statements should be ignored. 

In an effort to reconcile the apparent inconsistencies in Witness 124's accounts and determine what she actually witnessed as opposed to what she may have heard from others, federal prosecutors sought to meet with her. However, Witness 124 failed to appear for a scheduled meeting and refused to reschedule at any time or place of her convenience.  
Therefore, federal prosecutors did not have the opportunity to assess her credibility and determine which parts of her account, if any, were accurate. Because the substance of her two investigative accounts stood in stark contrast to each other, without further explanation, federal prosecutors determined her accounts not to be credible and therefore did not consider them in its prosecutive decision.  
[Page 55]
However, I think that Fiancée Brady did tell the truth about a few of the incident's moments that she indeed did see and comprehend. In order to show the true kernel, I will explain her movements.

Fiancée Brady was sitting in her kitchen, eating lunch and talking by phone with her sister. Michael Brady was in the bedroom and watching, through the bedroom window, Police Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown struggling at the police vehicle. After the second gunshot was fired from inside the police vehicle, Michael yelled at her: "Baby, look out the window. They're shooting."

She herself had not heard the gunshots, but she walked from the kitchen into the living room and to the sliding glass door. (In a previous article, I described the apartment buildings' standard features.) 

Blue Line= Maximally eastern view from Brady apartment, second floor
Red Line = Monte Carlo, after backward movement
Black Line = Police Vehicle
The glass door was covered on the inside with vertical blinds, which she parted in order to look outside. She saw Wilson walking away from the police vehicle. She also glimpsed Brown running in the distance. Then Brown passed out of her view, which was blocked by another building (see the above photograph*).  

At some point, Wilson stopped walking, and so Fiancée Brady concluded mistakenly that Wilson had stopped chasing Brown. She remarked to Michael: "Well, I guess the guy [Brown] got away, because I don't see him [Wilson] walking any more." (See page 2.)

Since Wilson was standing still, Fiancée Brady now focused her attention on the Monte Carlo, where she noticed some movement. Still looking through the vertical blinds and the still closed sliding glass door, she saw Dorian Johnson.  

She opened the sliding glass door and went out onto the balcony to improve her view of the scene. Because the situation now seemed safe, she allowed her three sons to follow her out onto the balcony. 

Then she watched Johnson jump into the car.

While she was watching Johnson, she did not notice that Wilson had resumed walking toward Brown.  

When Wilson began shooting at the now charging Brown, she looked back in that direction and saw that Brown had reappeared into her sight. She then focused her attention to her sons on the balcony and moved them back into the apartment. 

Fiancée Brady's observation of the incident began as Wilson was walking away from his police vehicle and ended when he began firing the final gunshots. Based on my article about the sequence of events I estimate that her observation lasted about 15 seconds (12:01:00 - 12:02:15). During the first half that time, she was looking from inside, through her vertical blinds and the closed sliding glass door. During the last half, she was looking from the balcony, and she saw Johnson jump into the car.  

After the shooting ended, she came back out onto the balcony and resumed watching the scene. During this later time, she saw the Monte Carlo drive "up the street". 

During those 15 seconds,  
Fiancée Brady never focused on the police car. Wilson already had walked away from it when she began watching. Later, when she described the scene to the grand jury, she described the Monte Carlo as pointed in the opposite direction from its actual direction.  
Prosecutor  Do you recall which direction his [Wilson's] car was facing on Canfield Drive? 
Fiancée Brady  His vehicle was facing like going deeper into the apartments [east]. 
Prosecutor  So, his vehicle was facing this direction [pointing to the courtroom's overhead photograph of the scene]?
Fiancée Brady  Correct. 
Prosecutor  So, the front of his vehicle was here [pointed east]? 
Fiancée Brady  Correct. [In fact, the police vehicle pointed west] .... 
Prosecutor  So, from your position, you can see the driver's side of that vehicle? 
Fiancée Brady  Correct. [In fact, the passenger side was facing her.] .... 
Prosecutor  Did you see any other people in the area? 
Fiancée Brady  Yes. I saw another, shorter African-American male [Johnson]. At this time the police vehicle was facing this way, and there was a white Monte Carlo facing -- they was going the opposite way.  [In fact, both vehicles were headed essentially westward.]
The other black male [Johnson] was on the passenger side of the white Monte Carlo, and he was down like this [demonstrating to the grand jury]. He had dreads.... 
I'm looking. And then I come out my apartment just to get a closer look. And I see the black male that was behind the white vehicle. He jumps inside the white car. 
And the white Monte Carlo goes up the street. 
[Pages 145 - 146]
Fiancée Brady only glimpsed Wilson shooting at Brown and then focused on moving her sons from the balcony back into the apartment. Nevertheless, she gave the grand jury an elaborate, false description of the final gunshots. She based that description on what she had heard from neighbors and the news reports, but pretended that she herself had seen it all. 

Exasperated by Fiancée Brady's nonsense about Brown trying to surrender, the prosecutor ended the questioning by nudging Fiancée Brady to acknowledged that while she was pushing her sons back into the apartment she was distracted from watching the final gunshots. 
Prosecutor  When you saw him [Johnson] duck down, were you coming out of your patio at the time when you did not see him any more?
Fiancée Brady  No, I was standing on my patio, that's how I know that he got inside the white Monte Carlo and the Monte Carlo went up the street.
Prosecutor  So you actually saw him get into the car?
Fiancée Brady  I saw the driver door open and he did this, got in it, the door closed and the car went up the street.
Prosecutor  You were outside on your patio at the time?
Fiancée Brady  I was outside on my patio. ... 
My kids were out by this [time] when I open up the door to go out onto the patio. My boys came outside. So I'm kind of like trying to pull them back away from the patio and pull them back into the house just so they won't be seeing and hearing all of this stuff that was going on.
Prosecutor  So you were distracted a little bit with your boys?
Fiancée Brady  Correct.
Prosecutor  During what period of time was this when you were working with your boys? What was going on?
Fiancée Brady  This was as the officer is shooting and Mike Brown's hands is up and the officer is shooting, I'm trying to pull my boys back because I've never been around anything with shooting, I didn't know if the bullets would -- 
Prosecutor  We certainly understand that. I just wanted to know did you miss anything when you were pulling the boys back?
Fiancée Brady  That could possibly be true. Because I'm trying to see what's going on in the streets, but at the same time I'm trying to pull my kids away from the patio and back in the house to keep them from witnessing and seeing and hearing what is going on as well.
[Pages 166 - 168]

* The Brady family lived in Building 2. Michael Brady remarked in an FBI interview (page 9), referring to this overhead photograph,that his apartment was in Building 2, "the second one", with a white roof. From Building 2, the view of Canfield Drive was blocked partially by Building 5, as shown in the above photograph. 

No comments: