The media was abuzz this morning with reports of breaking news in the Michael Brown shooting case in Ferguson, Missouri. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (which has been doing the lion’s share of the heavy lifting on this story from the beginning) has obtained new audio recordings of police radio traffic from the day of the incident, as well as surveillance video footage of Darren Wilson from inside the police station shortly thereafter. The material was obtained through the state’s Sunshine Law, the equivalent of a FOIA request for state government departments.
Video surveillance and radio calls obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reveal new details in the shooting death of Michael Brown. The police dispatch radio calls show that the interaction that ended in Brown’s death happened over about 90 seconds…
He was working Saturday August 9th not far from the Canfield-Green apartments. He was on a sick baby call when the Ferguson police dispatcher reported a, “Stealing in progress” at the Ferguson Market on West Florissant.
CNN has some transcripts of the radio chatter which, not surprisingly, don’t seem to contain a lot of revelations above and beyond what we’ve already been told. The key clarification provided seems to be that the entire thing went down remarkably fast from the moment Wilson was alerted to “a stealing” in the area until the shooting was over.
At noon, Wilson radioed that he had just completed a separate incident involving a sick baby, and asked officers in the market incident if they needed help, according to the report.
Two minutes later, at 12:02 p.m., Wilson asked for “another car” and said he was “on Canfield with two,” according to the report, referring to a street near where the fatal encounter occurred…
At 12:03 p.m., a witness tweeted that he just saw someone die, according to the report’s timeline.
If their times match up, Brown’s fatal shooting happened less than two minutes after Wilson said he was “on Canfield with two.”
A dispatcher called for an ambulance at 12:05 p.m. and mistakenly reported that someone was Tasered, according to the paper, which was shortly followed by an officer’s request for more units.
“There’s gonna be a problem,” the officer said, as a woman screamed in the background.
The cable news anchors aren’t coming out and making a direct accusation about this, but the inference is found in how they seem to be focusing on the third, unnamed officer saying There’s gonna be a problem, as if that’s an admission of something improper. We will, of course, need the testimony of the speaker and everyone involved to get the full context, but from an initial glance I’d say that’s probably about the most predictable response imaginable. If a cop shows up on the scene in that neighborhood and finds an injured white officer, a dead black suspect and the street littered with shell casings, well… there’s gonna be a problem. I don’t think you’d need to call in Sherlock Holmes to make that call.
The second piece of data which seems to be fodder for speculation is the video from the police station. (Shown below) It takes place roughly two hours after the shooting and shows Officer Wilson leaving for the hospital. The media is making a big point of noting that Wilson is accompanied by some officers and a union lawyer. Is that really shocking to anyone? Any time there is an officer involved shooting there is going to be an investigation by internal affairs. And in standard fashion, the officer would automatically have legal representation, no matter how clear cut the shooting may have been. But some of the comments this morning seem to be trying to make hay of this, implying that Wilson immediately “lawyered up” within hours. I suppose that’s meant to imply guilt.
Here’s the video. If you find something more damning or revealing in it than I have, do let me know.