What They Saw: 5 Eyewitnesses to the Michael Brown Shooting


    These individuals gave their versions of the Ferguson, Mo., teenager’s last moments.

    Posted: Aug. 19 2014 12:10 PM

    Dorian Johnson; Piaget Crenshaw; Tiffany Mitchell


    As of press time, at least five eyewitnesses in the Michael Brown shooting case have come forward. All five witnesses had distinct vantage points: One person was with Brown during the incident, one woman was inside her vehicle, another woman observed the incident from her apartment balcony, one man was inside his apartment and another man was standing outside.

    None of the eyewitnesses in this roundup—save for two—knew each other prior to the shooting. They could not have imagined that their lives would forever be intertwined as a result of what they allegedly witnessed that sunny afternoon in Ferguson, Mo.

    1. Dorian Johnson, Michael Brown’s friend.



    Johnson was with Brown when they were stopped by police.

    During interviews with reporters, Johnson recounted the chilling confrontation. He said that a police car pulled up alongside Brown and him, and the officer—who has been identified as Darren Wilson—allegedly told Johnson and Brown to “get the f–k on the sidewalk.”

    The two men told the officer that they were only minutes away from their destination. Johnson said that Wilson backed up his car and asked Brown and Johnson what they just said. Johnson claimed that Wilson then tried to open his car door but the door ricocheted off of Brown’s body and closed again.

    Johnson said that Wilson pulled Brown through the car window by his neck, and Brown began to try to pull away. Johnson said that Wilson shot Brown during the scuffle, and Brown managed to break away from Wilson’s grip. Brown and Johnson then began to run away from the police vehicle.

    Johnson said that Wilson got out of his car and began to shoot at Brown while Brown was running away. Brown then stopped, put his hands in the air, turned around and pleaded with the officer to stop shooting, since he didn’t have a gun.

    Johnson said that Wilson continued to fire several more shots before Brown’s body fell to the ground.

    2. Tiffany Mitchell, who was visiting her employee in a nearby apartment complex.


    Tiffany Mitchell alongside her attorneyCNN SCREENSHOT

    Mitchell had never met or seen Michael Brown or Dorian Johnson. In fact, she’s not even from the area and was on her way to pick up an employee when the incident occurred.

    During an interview with MSNBC, Mitchell said she was driving when she saw the confrontation at the point when Brown and Wilson were wrestling through the window. “Brown was pushing, trying to get away from the officer,” Mitchell explained, “and the officer was trying to pull him in.”

    Mitchell’s and Johnson’s versions of events match up from that point on. A shot was fired, and Brown broke away and started to run down the street away from the police car. Mitchell said the officer then got out of his vehicle and started to pursue Brown, all the while shooting at him.

    “Michael’s body jerked as if he were hit,” Mitchell said. “Then he turns around and put his hands up, and the officer continued to walk up on him and shoot him, until he goes all the way down to the ground.”

    3. Piaget Crenshaw, the woman who saw the incident while standing on her apartment balcony.


    Piaget CrenshawKSDK SCREENSHOT

    Crenshaw was the employee that Mitchell was coming to pick up. She was standing on her apartment balcony and saw Brown running away from Wilson.

    “I witnessed the police chase after the guy—full force,” Crenshaw told local news reporters in Ferguson. “[Brown] put his arm up to let them know that he was compliant and that he was unarmed, and they shot him twice more, and he fell to the ground and died.”

    Crenshaw explained to reporters on the scene, “[Brown] was running this way, but his body is laying this way because he turned around to tell the police that he was unarmed.

    “He didn’t have no weapon on him at all,” she continued. “They killed this boy for no reason, and there should be justice about this.”

    4. Emmanuel Freeman, who reportedly tweeted about the shooting right after it happened.



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