According to transcripts of the grand jury investigation into the deadly encounter in Ferguson, three of the witnesses to the shooting described Brown’s movements as a “charge.” Another couple said Brown may have been charging but were not sure. Most of the rest saw forward motion but described it as “steps” or “walking” or “stumbling,” with about a half dozen of these witnesses interpreting Brown’s actions as an attempt to surrender.

“He just kept walking, he just kept going, he just didn’t stop. Even today, I don’t know why, I don’t understand that,” testified one female witness, who had been visiting the Canfield Green apartment complex and who concluded that Brown was trying to surrender. “I asked my husband: ‘Why won’t that child just stop?’”…

Virtually all the witnesses saw Brown’s hands raised in some fashion, according to the transcripts, but there was wide disagreement over what this meant. One witness who thought Brown was charging said she saw his hands balled up into fists. Others thought the raised hands were a gesture of surrender, though some of these witnesses said they were not lifted in the traditional way, with the hands high and palms facing forward. Others thought Brown had touched a wound on his body and raised his hands in shock.