A grand jury that decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, received statements about the Aug. 9 incident that were “inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong,” The Associated Press (AP) reported, after reviewing thousands of pages of the documents. The grand jury’s decision has triggered unrest, and violent protests, in the St. Louis suburb and across the United States since Monday night.
The documents reportedly revealed that some witnesses gave conflicting testimonies while others changed their stories to match the details revealed in Brown’s autopsy report. Prosecutors noted the inconsistencies and highlighted them to the jury, which may have influenced the grand jury’s decision not to charge the white officer, AP reported.
"Many witnesses to the shooting of Michael Brown made statements inconsistent with other statements they made and also conflicting with the physical evidence. Some were completely refuted by the physical evidence," Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor in charge of the case, said, according to AP.
Some witnesses reportedly said that the 18-year-old unarmed black teen was shot in the back, while others said he had his face on the ground when Wilson “finished him off.” Brown’s autopsy report did not support witness testimony that Brown was shot while running away, with his hands up. The report had revealed that he was shot nine times, including three shots to the head, one of which was instantly fatal.
Prosecutors also showed media coverage of the aftermath of Brown’s fatal shooting where some people, who were scheduled to testify in front of the jury, had given statements on television. After these people testified, it became clear that inconsistencies about the account of the shooting began immediately after the incident, AP reported.
The testimony of Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time of his death, was also reportedly inconsistent.
In a video clip, Johnson had reportedly said that Wilson fired at least one shot at his friend from the back while Brown was trying to escape. He reportedly said that the bullet struck him in the back. He later reportedly gave another statement to the grand jury stating that the shot caused Brown's body to "do like a jerking movement, not to where it looked like he got hit in his back, but I knew, it maybe could have grazed him, but he definitely made a jerking movement."
Prosecutors reportedly revealed that one woman completely fabricated a story about the incident as she was not present at the scene when the shooting occurred. Another woman, who reportedly said she was close to the shooting site, claimed she had seen a second police officer in Wilson’s vehicle. She also said she was confident that there was a white police officer in uniform inside the car, but this claim was untrue.
Another witness told the FBI that Brown was shot in the back and then Wilson “stood over him and finished him off,” AP reported. But, the same witness later told the grand jury that he had not seen that part of the incident and what he told the FBI was "based on me being where I'm from, and that can be the only assumption that I have."
The witness also reportedly said that he had changed his account of the incident in front of the grand jury “to coincide with what really happened.”