Monday, June 15, 2015

Johnson ran toward Building 12

Dorian Johnson lived at 2928 Caddiefield Road, according to an eviction case against him. He lived in Canfield Green Apartment Complex's Building 12, according to a remark in his grand jury testimony (page 76). That address is in the Building 12's southeast corner. 

Johnson lived at 2928 Caddiefield Road,
in Building 12.
If the run passed through the back, open field, as described by House Repairman, and if Johnson ran home, as he himself testified, then his route was similar to what is depicted in the below photograph.  

Johnson lived in the southeast corner of Building 12.
I speculate that Johnson made contact with the Monte Carlo, which escaped the scene by a similar route. In that meeting, the Monte Carlo's driver and passenger told Johnson what they had seen while watching the final, fatal shots. Johnson himself had not seen those shots, because he had been ducking down in front of the car's passenger seat.

Johnson ran west and then south into the back field

In a previous post, I reported that House Repairman saw the Monte Carlo drive around the Canfield Green Apartment Complex's Building 18 a short time after Michael Brown fell dead. In this post here, I will report how Dorian Johnson ran.  

MC = Monte Carlo
Red Line = Monte Carlo's path after Brown was shot dead
PV = Police Vehicle
MV = Minivan
SW = Stairwell Woman
House Repairman told the grand jury that Johnson ran across the street, past the police vehicle front, and then in the same southern direction that the Monte Carlo drove.
Prosecutor  After he [Brown] collapsed, did the officer continue to fire? 
House Repairman  No. 
Prosecutor  Did you see the officer? Did he go up to Mike Brown's body at that point? 
House Repairman  At that point, something else had caught my attention, Mr. Johnson caught my attention at that time when he ran across the street
Prosecutor  At that point you are not necessarily looking at the officer and Mike Brown? You are focusing on Mr. Johnson? 
House Repairman  Correct. 
Prosecutor  You recognized him as the shorter guy who had been with Mike Brown that you had seen earlier? 
House Repairman   Yes. 
Prosecutor  You said he ran around -- like in front of -- the police vehicle
House Repairman  Correct
Prosecutor  And then [Johnson] ran toward this area where you said you had seen this car
House Repairman  Yes. 
Prosecutor  And this was a car that had been over here [pointing to a map in the court room] and had pulled around this horseshoe driveway around Building Number 18? 
House Repairman  Correct
Prosecutor  And you heard Dorian Johnson say what? 
House Repairman   "He just killed him, he just killed him." 
Prosecutor  Okay. And then you said he then ran into the back of the complex. Did you ever see him again? 
House Repairman  No. 
[Pages 185 - 186]

In a previous interview with detectives on August 11, two days after the incident, House Repairman told the same story in a muddled manner. (In the below passage, I have added paragraph numbers for the convenience of my further explanation.)
1) It was a blue Monte Carlo, a newer model Monte Carlo two-door. It was closer [than the police vehicle] to the scene where the [fatal] shooting was at that occurred. 
2) They [the Monte Carlo occupants] then drove off and made a left into the apartments and drove around the apartment and then came and stopped. 
3) Mr. Brown’s friend [Johnson] that he [Brown] was walking with earlier -- I didn’t see him the whole time that this was all going on with a confrontation with the police and the shooting and everything. 
4) At the end, after Mr. Brown had dropped [dead], I seen his friend [Johnson] come out of nowhere and run across the street and said that “Dog, they just killed him, they just killed him.” 
5) And he ran [through] the back fields of Canfield, the back open field
[Page 5]
I think paragraphs 3 and 4 are a long parenthetical, out-of-sequence insertion in the witness’s narrative. If we skip over those two paragraphs, then this witness’s train of thought was to contrast what “they” (the Monte Carlo) did against what “he” (Johnson) did:
They then drove off and made a left into the apartments and drove around the apartment and then came and stopped. .... 
And he ran [into] the back fields of Canfield, the back open fields.
In other words, Johnson was not in the Monte Carlo when it made the left turn and drove around the apartments. Rather, Johnson was running into the back fields. Ultimately, however, the Monte Carlo and Johnson might have met at his apartment.


The investigation report records that on the afternoon of the incident, August 9, 2014, a detective interviewed a female -- I will call her "Stairwell Woman" -- who saw Johnson running west after she heard a series of about five gunshots. Because of her location -- at a Canfield Drive address -- she could not see the shooting itself. In the above photograph, I have marked, with the label SW, the stairway where I guess that she was located. (A prior article describes the apartment buildings' standard features.)

.... [Stairwell Woman] said she was sitting on the second-floor stairway at [address number] Canfield [Drive] when she heard subjects yelling. She could not understand what they were yelling. She heard what sounded like a gunshot, so she went into the second-floor apartment on the left. She then heard what sounded like five gunshots in rapid succession. When she looked outside, she saw a black male with shoulder-length dreadlocks with blonde tips wearing a red shirt, gray pants, and colorful Nike shoes. She said he ran to the west on Canfield Drive from the scene
[Stairwell Woman] was asked several times if she witnessed or saw the shooting. She said she did not. She said she went into the apartment after the first shot. She would not provide any information on the people she was with. .... 
[Page 42]
As far as I know, Stairwell Woman never was questioned again.

Johnson (on the left) was wearing
a black shirt, gray pants and light-tan shoes.
Johnson (on the left in the above photograph) was wearing gray pants, a black (not red) shirt, and light-tan (not colorful) shoes.

Although the clothing description was faulty, Johnson did have long dreadlocks blonde tips.

I think that Stairwell Woman did see Johnson running west briefly.


Stairwell Man told the grand jury that Johnson ran past the police vehicle to the south side of Canfield Drive and then past Building 18.

As the shooting is going on, he [Johnson] hid behind the white car and then he tried to get in the white car. But then, I guess, they denied him, so he ran. ...
He ran back behind the police car and ran behind this building [pointing to a map in the courtroom]. 
[Page 252]

The Monte Carlo escaped around Building 18

A 27-year-old bi-racial male doing a repair project watched the incident from a house (not an apartment building) that was located on Canfield Drive. The grand jury designated him as Witness 10, and the US Justice Department designated him as Witness 102. I will call him House Repairman.

Despite his distance from the incident, the Justice Department's report about the killing declared that he was a credible witness.
... all of Witness 102's statements were materially consistent with each other, with physical and forensic evidence, and with other credible witness accounts. Witness 102 does not have a criminal history. Therefore, if called as a defense witness in a prosecution of Darren Wilson, this witness's account would not be vulnerable to meaningful cross-examination. Accordingly, after a thorough review of all the evidence, federal prosecutors determined his account to be credible and likewise determined that a jury appropriately would credit his potential testimony. 
[Pages 28 - 29]
House Repairman saw Michael Brown struggling through the police vehicle's window but did not see Dorian Johnson at the police vehicle during that struggle. (Johnson already had run away from the police vehicle before House Repairman began watching.)  House Repairman did not see Johnson get into the Monte Carlo.

House Repairman provided a unique eyewitness description of the Monte Carlo's departure from the scene.  

HR = House Repairman
PV = Police Vehicle
MC = Monte Carlo
To see the above image, without my annotations, in a larger size, go to this webpage

In an interview with two Saint Louis County Police Department detectives on August 11, 2014, two days after the incident, House Repairman indicated that the Monte Carlo turned left and thus stayed inside the Canfield Green apartment complex rather than drive into the residential area where he himself was working. 
It was a blue Monte Carlo, a newer model Monte Carlo two-door. It was closer [than the police vehicle] to the scene where the [fatal] shooting was at that occurred. 
They [the Monte Carlo occupants] then drove off and made a left into the apartments and drove around the apartment and then came and stopped. 
[Page 5]
Later in that same, House Repairman elaborated about the Monte Carlo. He said that he saw only a male driver in the Monte Carlo when it subsequently drove around the apartment building. 
Detective  Do you know how many people were in that car or who was driving?
House Repairman  No, I’m not sure. I just seen a driver from a distance. I couldn’t get a description. I know he was a black African-American.
Detective  You said he, so it was a male in the car?
House Repairman  Yeah, it was a he.
Detective  Okay. Do you know if there was anybody else in the car?
House Repairman  No, I’m not sure.
Detective  Alright. And the individual with the dread locks …. He went where?
House Repairman  The first point was I seen him [Johnson] with the suspect [Brown] when they were still alive together. [House Repairman had seen Johnson walking with Brown to the store, before noon.]
The next time I seen him was when after everything already took place where Mr. Brown was fatally injured and he [Johnson] came from nowhere and ran across the street. It would be at the point where he ran across will be in front of the squad car. …..And, he cuts across and yells “They killed him, they killed him.”
I’m not sure if he -- at that point when he was yelling --[was] at the blue Monte Carlo, was at the same point. I’m not sure if he was just yelling it, just to be yelling it, or if he was telling them in the car that they killed him. And [I’m not sure] that he never entered their car or went up to that car. He was just yelling.
And he ran up through the back fields of Canfield.
[Pages 13 - 14]

To understand this passage fully, keep in mind that House Repairman was talking about three occasions when he did see or might have seen the Monte Carlo.

1) He saw the Monte Carlo when it was stopped near the police vehicle during the shooting incident. 

2) He saw the Monte Carlo when, after the fatal gunshots, it turned left off of Canfield Drive and drove around Building 18. 

3) He thought – but was not sure – that he might have seen the Monte Carlo again at the same area on Canfield Drive a while later, when Johnson returned to Canfield Drive and yelled. House Repairman said, "I’m not sure if he [Johnson] -- at that point when he was yelling --[was] at the blue Monte Carlo, was at the same point." 

I think that House Repairman had the second of those occasions in mind when he told the detective that only a male driver was in the Monte Carlo. The second occasion was perhaps the only occasion when he was close enough to the Monte Carlo that he could discern the car’s occupants.

If so, then the male passenger must have taken over the driving role before the Monte Carlo turned left off of Canfield Drive. At the same time, the female driver must have moved to another seat and ducked down so that she was not visible. The moment when the male and female switched places must have been when the car was on lawn, was driving around Wilson’s police vehicle, and was confronted by police vehicles arriving from the west to the scene. MC Passenger testified that in this particular situation he got out of the Monte Carlo and looked back at Wilson standing over Brown’s body – “I ended up getting out [of the Monte Carlo], you know, to look back and whatnot”.


In contrast to House Repairman's observations, MC Passenger told investigators that the Monte Carlo drove far away immediately, while the backup police cars were arriving.
Detective  Where did you guys go?
MC Passenger  Right up Ferguson [Avenue], while all the rest of them [backup police cars] came. It's a long street, on the side of Ferguson Market -- that street, Ferguson [Avenue].
[Page 5]
MC Passenger told the grand jury that the Monte Carlo drove straight on Canfield Drive, turned left onto West Florissant Avenue and right onto Ferguson Avenue. Then MC Owner drove him directly to his home in Pagedale (about five miles southwest).

The passenger said the Monte Carlo drove out Canfield Drive
while the backup police cars still were arriving.

He said the Monte Carlo eventually drove him west on Ferguson Avenue,
on the way to Pagedale, where he lived. 

Did you drive straight out Canfield to West Florissant? 
MC Passenger  Yeah. ….
Prosecutor  After you left the scene, where did you guys go?
MC Passenger  … I told her [MC Owner] to take me home. We went up on the side …. of Ferguson Market. Is that Ferguson [Avenue] or something like that?
Prosecutor  So you went out to West Florissant, then you make a left?
MC Passenger  [We] made a left and quick right by that store [Ferguson Market and Liquor] …. And went on out to Pagedale.  
[Pages 190 - 191]