Michael Brown Family: Media Leaks Show Pro-Darren Wilson Bias, Bungled Investigation

Jessica Lussenhop
Eric Davis addresses a rally in Clayton in September with Michael Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden.

The family of eighteen-year-old Michael Brown first heard about leaked information from the investigation into the teenager's August 9 shooting death on Friday. A family pastor called the father, Michael Brown Sr., to tell him about a story in the New York Times ("Police Officer in Ferguson is Said to Recount a Struggle").

Soon, both sides of the family were calling one another, reacting to subsequent articles in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ("Source: Darren Wilson says Michael Brown kept charging at him") and the Washington Post ("Evidence supports officer's account of shooting in Ferguson"). All three credit unnamed sources and include a St. Louis County medical examiner's autopsy report on Brown Jr., as well as the account of the shooting given by Officer Darren Wilson to a grand jury. Most of the details included in the stories seem to point to a justified shooting (read more about those stories here).

Daily RFT reached Eric Davis, Brown Jr.'s cousin, and a family spokesman, to get their reaction to the leaks. Davis talked about the conversations he's had with Lesley McSpadden, Brown Jr.'s mother, since reports began appearing.

"We've asked from the inception of this investigation to have Bob McCulloch recuse himself and have an independent investigator assigned," he said. "What we feared would be happening with the case being here, with the leaks, is actually happening. We just feel like there's bias toward the police officer."

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Ferguson Protesters React to Leaked Darren Wilson Testimony, Michael Brown Autopsy

Danny Wicentowski
Students hit the streets for a national day of protest Wednesday, the day two more leaked reports about Michael Brown and Darren Wilson were published.
Reporting by Mitch Ryals, Danny Wicentowski, Lindsay Toler and Jessica Lussenhop

The investigation into the death of Michael Brown has sprung a leak.

Three leaks, in fact. First, the New York Times published details from the Ferguson police officer who fatally shot Brown, Darren Wilson. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch then got its hands on the official autopsy. And finally the Washington Post announced that several black witnesses have given testimony that matches Wilson's version of events.

See also: Darren Wilson Tells Why He Feared For His Life Before Shooting Michael Brown: NYT

After months of keeping a tight lid on the grand jury and civil rights investigations into Brown's death, the leaks feel like a little more than coincidence, especially as the city braces for the potential violence if Wilson is not indicted with a charge in Brown's death.

So what's really going on here? The Department of Justice said it best, to the Los Angeles Times: "The department considers the selective release of information in this investigation to be irresponsible and highly troubling. Since the release of the convenience-store footage, there seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case."

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Why Kansas City Royals Fans Hate Rob Lowe Now

Categories: Baseball

Dodgechallenger1 via Flickr
Rob Lowe got Royals nation royally pissed.
Rob Lowe has pissed off fans of the Kansas City Royals. And since it seems everyone in the U.S. (including California) is cheering for the Royals to beat San Francisco to win the 2014 World Series, the law of transitivity would say that Lowe has, in fact, pissed off all of America.

How did a man with such chiseled features and a dazzling smile anger baseball-watching America? Easily, in less than 140 characters.

Lowe betrayed the loyal Royals with a sub-tweet about being ready for the "big stage." It was only four minutes before angry Royals caused Lowe to issue an excuse:

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Police Catch Armed Robber Lying in a Ditch with Gun, Money

Categories: Crime

Shawn Walther, 37.
St. Louis County police say they busted a suspected armed robber Monday after he stole cash from a south St. Louis County gas station.

Shawn Walther, 37, of the 6000 block of Yorkshire Drive, faces charges of first-degree robbery and armed criminal action.

According to reports from police, Walther entered the Circle K gas station at 9311 S. Broadway Monday, pointed a handgun at the clerk and took an undisclosed amount of cash before fleeing. Witnesses told police which way Walther headed, and cops found him "lying in a ditch" near the River City Casino.

As they arrested Walther, officers found a fully loaded handgun underneath his abdomen and the stolen cash from Circle K in his pocket.

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[PHOTOS] IKEA Begins "Steel Erection," Lays Pipe for New St. Louis Store

Categories: Bidness

Mitch Ryals
Man slides steel into place.
Roll up your sleeves, St. Louis, it's time for your quarterly IKEA fix.

In a very enthusiastic press release, IKEA announced this week that "steel erection is underway" for the mammoth furniture retailer's first St. Louis location (and second Missouri location because they decided to build one in Kansas City first, not that we're bitter or anything).

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Dime Bag Kingpins: How Two Grams Can Get You Twenty Years

Categories: Longform

Adria Fruitos
Michael Mayo was on his way to get some new braids. He didn't know he would end up spending the next two decades in prison.

Police were watching as Mayo, then in his early twenties, made his way through his north St. Louis neighborhood back in July 2001. And Mayo, a street-level drug dealer, decided to do a little business before getting his hair done. That's when police say they saw Mayo make a hand-to-hand transaction with somebody in the middle of the road. Without hesitation, the cops jumped out of an unmarked vehicle and placed Mayo in handcuffs.

On his person, police found roughly two grams of crack, a joint's worth of marijuana and $176 in cash. Mayo said the money was for the braids he was on his way to get, not profits from drug sales. Besides, what kind of legit drug dealer has only a couple grams of crack?

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Michael Sam Dropped from Dallas Cowboys, Will Look for New NFL Spot

Categories: Sports

Michael Sam.
Almost two months after being cut from the St. Louis Rams, Michael Sam has been dropped again, this time from the practice squad of the Dallas Cowboys.

Sam, the first openly gay man drafted into the NFL, spent seven weeks on the 10-man squad in Dallas, and the team announced Tuesday it waived him when he didn't make the 53-man roster.

See also: Michael Sam Cut from St. Louis Rams Roster, Practice Squad

Sam practicing with Dallas didn't make nearly as big of a media splash as when the Rams drafted him in the seventh round, especially when Sam celebrated by smooching his boyfriend. At Sunday's game against the New York Giants, a USA Today reporter asked fans how they felt about having a gay man on the practice squad; more than half of fans didn't even know Sam was on the team.

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William Lynn Gunter Sentenced to 30 Years for Murder of Wife Suzanne

Categories: Crime

Google Street View
The Gunters' former Town & Country home.

The March 2013 murder of Suzanne Ball Gunter, allegedly by her husband, William Lynn, piqued the interest of many across the country -- even international press covered her death. Perhaps it was their seemingly comfortable life in Town & Country, or their reputation as a fun-loving couple with lots of friends.

"I knew them both forever. It's a terrible thing, a big shock," says Mark Vinson, a long-time family friend and former colleague of the couple who lives in Kentucky.

The case, which was headed for a November 3 jury trial, ended on Friday when Mr. Gunter -- who goes by Lynn -- pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. A judge sentenced him on Monday to 30 years in prison.

"The evidence was overwhelming. Lynn did not want to put his family through a trial," his attorney John Rogers tells Daily RFT. "All these things were involved in the decision-making process and the enter of a guilty plea."

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San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence Didn't Know Kansas City Is in Missouri

Categories: Sports

Andy Rusch via Flickr
Hunter Pence is a little confused about where he is.
Hunter Pence is not in Kansas anymore.

The outfielder for the San Francisco Giants says he didn't realize the Kansas City Royals were based in Missouri until he saw a Royals fan's sign that read: "Hunter Spence thinks he's in Kansas."

"We're not?" Pence thought to himself, he tells Yahoo Sports.

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"Ferguson Commission" Will Study St. Louis' Challenges in Wake of Michael Brown: Nixon

Categories: Ferguson

Danny Wicentowski
On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon called for an "unflinching" study of the St. Louis region's challenges in the wake of Michael Brown's death.
The death of Michael Brown and weeks of sustained protests exposed a host of ailing social and economic conditions in the St. Louis region -- like sprawling municipal court systems that prey on the poor, racial divides and, of course, police brutality.

On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced his first direct action to untangle and resolve the broad issues raised by Brown's death. That work will be helmed, initially, by an independent "Ferguson Commission," a roughly fifteen-person body charged with sending specific recommendations to the governor. Nixon said he'll name the commission members sometime next month.

"The men and women selected to serve on this commission must be willing to come together in good faith, endure the fierce crucible of public opinion, and lead the hard work of change," Nixon said in a prepared speech at St. Louis Community College. "This work is not for the faint of heart."

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