Kind of an important detail, yet buried 21 paragraphs deep. They’re not as specific as Jim Hoft was yesterday in alleging that Wilson’s eye was busted — the type of injury is unspecified here — but this is the first evidence I know of reported in a major paper that Brown might have been physically aggressive towards Wilson.

Er, why didn’t the Times think to ask its sources, “What kind of injury?” Or did they and received a “no comment” in reply? Police might want to keep that detail a secret to see if witnesses will independently corroborate it. I.e. if it’s his eye and a witness claims he saw Brown punch Wilson in the face, they know that witness is likely credible.

However, law enforcement officials say witnesses and forensic analysis have shown that Officer Wilson did sustain an injury during the struggle in the car…

“It was something strange,” said [eyewitness Michael] Brady, 32, a janitor. “Something was not right. It was some kind of altercation. I can’t say whether he was punching the officer or whatever. But something was going on in that window, and it didn’t look right.”…

According to his account to the Ferguson police, Officer Wilson said that Mr. Brown had lowered his arms and moved toward him, law enforcement officials said. Fearing that the teenager was going to attack him, the officer decided to use deadly force. Some witnesses have backed up that account. Others, however — including [Brown’s friend Dorian] Johnson — have said that Mr. Brown did not move toward the officer before the final shots were fired…

The F.B.I., Mr. Bosley said, pressed Mr. Johnson to say how high Mr. Brown’s hands were. Mr. Johnson said that his hands were not that high, and that one was lower than the other, because he appeared to be “favoring it,” the lawyer said.

Brady says he’s been interviewed by local police but not by the FBI yet. Huh. The Times also stresses that several witnesses say that when Brown stopped running from Wilson and turned back to face him, he did put his hands up. Whether he then lowered them and advanced on Wilson, as Wilson claims, or stayed put in surrender mode is in dispute.

Another interesting tidbit from the Times: Supposedly “many” witnesses have told cops that Wilson’s gun went off while he was still in the car arguing with Brown, which apparently caused Brown to start running. Why the gun went off will be a hot topic at trial, needless to say. It’s possible, I guess, that Wilson fired it deliberately, to intimidate Brown, but … why on earth would he do that? There are lots of ways a cop can intimidate you without blowing a hole in his own squad car or risking a ricochet. It’s more likely that the gun went off accidentally. How come? Did Brown grab for it when Wilson had it holstered? Or did Wilson have the gun out to intimidate Brown when it went off, either through Wilson’s own carelessness or because Brown grabbed at it himself? The defense is going to argue that Wilson’s fear of death or severe bodily harm was reasonable; it’s hard to make that argument based on Brown’s size alone given that Wilson was armed and Brown wasn’t, but if they can show that Brown had already tried to take a deadly weapon from Wilson and obviously had the strength to succeed on a second attempt, the argument is easier. And if they can show on top of that that Brown had already evinced an intent to harm Wilson by injuring him somehow, it’s easier still. Kind of a big deal here. Why’d it take 21 paragraphs to get to it?