Why Police Haven't Interviewed Michael Brown Shooting Witness Dorian Johnson

Categories: Michael Brown

dorianjohnson_chrishayes.jpg
Screengrab MSNBC

Last night, MSNBC's Chris Hayes spoke with Dorian Johnson, the 22-year-old witness who says he was walking with Michael Brown just before he was shot and killed by Ferguson Police.

Johnson gave a harrowing account of what occurred, saying that the still-unnamed officer nearly hit them with his squad car, grabbed Brown by the neck and told them, "I'm gonna shoot you." Johnson told Hayes that the account given by St. Louis County police is wrong and that Brown "did not reach for the officer's weapon at all."

See also: Michael Brown Family: We "Reject" Ferguson Police Version of Teen's Death

This all seems like vital information for investigators to have, but Johnson's attorney Freeman Bosley Jr. said that police declined his invitation to talk to Johnson. Daily RFT called the St. Louis County Police Department to find out how that could possibly be.

Here's the segment:

And here is an excerpt from an accompanying article by Trymaine Lee:

Johnson says he was within arm's reach of both Brown and the officer. He looked over at Brown and saw blood pooling through his shirt on the right side of the body.

"The whole time [the officer] was holding my friend until the gun went off," Johnson noted.

Brown and Johnson took off running together. There were three cars lined up along the side of the street. Johnson says he ducked behind the first car, whose two passengers were screaming. Crouching down a bit, he watched Brown run past.

"Keep running, bro!," he said Brown yelled. Then Brown yelled it a second time. Those would be the last words Johnson's friend, "Big Mike," would ever say to him.

See all of Daily RFT's coverage of Michael Brown's death and the unrest in Ferguson.

Bosley said that the investigators implied that Johnson was not a real witness, just simply a bystander that ran away and declined an invitation to speak with him. Today, Hayes tweeted this:

Daily RFT asked St. Louis County police spokesman Brian Schellman why police haven't interviewed Johnson.

"We have reached out to him and looked for him on numerous occasions. We've also contacted his friends," he said. "We reached out to his attorney's office, we put a call in to his attorney, and we're waiting on a return phone call."

Daily RFT asked Schellman to clarify whether or not they'd actually been to Johnson's house to try to find him, and he affirmed that officers had.

"We've been unsuccessful," he said.

Police acknowledged at a press conference yesterday that they haven't spoken to all the witnesses in the case.

"Frankly, we are still waiting to talk to some folks we think would have information," said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. "We need to understand that even detectives who are investigating right now don't have access to everything. There has not been a rush to judgment."

Daily RFT also called Bosley earlier today and left a message with his office. We'll update as soon as we know more.

Email the author at Jessica.Lussenhop@RiverfrontTimes.com.

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309 comments
fagan77
fagan77

Chris Hayes was duped again, will this guy ever learn people with a troubling past rarely tell the truth. but my guess is nether does Chris. Brown recanted his story, when outstanding warrants were brought into play( for lying to the police)  but Chris still thinks he has an award winning scoop

kjokjo
kjokjo

" Christopher Hayes        @chrislhayes Follow

I interviewed the key witness to the Michael Brown shooting last night. The police haven't. Think about that

"

Key witness my backside. Christopher Hayes what else can you tell us about Dorian Johnson? Do you know if he's an upstanding citizen? Harvard graduate? Father of the Year? Or is he quite possibly a thug and liar, one that might be involved in a robbery of a store (probably the first time he's been in trouble).

Chances are Dorian is a drug abusing criminal gang member and liar.

Think about that.




markie19
markie19 topcommenter


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markie1918 hours ago


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Christian Duque
Christian Duque

Should #StLouisProsecutor #BobMcCulloch remain on the #MichaelBrownHomicide case ?? State Officials openly asset he's too #biased and some say he's #unfit to prosecute #FergusonPoliceOfficer #DarronWilson !! Please leave a comment. Video: http://youtu.be/wkFgCpbohQY

starkjv
starkjv topcommenter

BLACK SAVAGES are still on the WARPATH in FERGERSON, MO., even though we now know that MICHAEL BROWN sealed his own FATE - by ROBBING a STORE, ASSAULTING a STORE CLERK, WALKING DOWN the MIDDLE of a CITY STREET, IGNORING  a POLICE OFFICIERS request to move off the STREET, as well as, ASSAULTING a POLICE OFFICER!  

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION for the ADVANCEMENT of WHITE PEOPLE - 2014

kseniyacholock
kseniyacholock

This kid is not credible, that's why the police will not talk to him, he was not on the level about Michael Brown and himself being involved in the Robery of the Quick Trip, which by the way, is this the same Quick Trip that was burned??? Did somebody think burning it would get rid of the evidence of the surveillance video?!!! In retelling his story of the events that led up to the shooting he "mistakenly" calls the squad car a "truck" pauses and then says "car." The second witness, Tiffany Marshall also has a problem distinguishing a squad car from a truck and lives in the same apartment complex, leading me to believe they "rehearsed" their stories to "match." I agree with the previous commentor when he said, "we do not have an angelic kid who would not "assault" a store clerk (possibly  a police officer as well?) And when these kids were told to get out of the middle of the street, Mr. Johnson here told the officer that they would be at their destination shortly and in the middle of a conversation" which had something to do with being the reason why they did not move to the sidewalk as "told to do!" Showing no respect for law and authority.  To walk down the middle of the street after robbing a store bringing attention to yourself should police drive by was foolish, to not listen to the officer when told to get over on the sidewalk, then not do it, yet another big mistake! Had they done as the officer said Brown would be alive today! And if they robbed a convenience store, defied the officers command,....what else then afterward transpired?! Cops are trained to shoot multiple times. They are trained to only shoot to prevent an imminent threat and to "keep shooting" until the threat is over." If they fire once and wait to see the result, they are putting themselves (or others) in danger. The procedure seems harsh, but it exists for good reason.  This issue comes up every time there is a questionable shooting.

tbright1965
tbright1965

And we find out that Dorian Johnson was involved in the c-store robbery with Michael Brown.  So while he is bad mouthing the police, he wasn't honest about the circumstances that brought the police to the scene.

http://www.ksdk.com/story/news/local/2014/08/15/attorney-dorian-johnson-michael-brown-robbery/14118769/

We now have video of the "peaceful, wouldn't hurt anyone" Michael Brown physically assaulting the c-store owner or staff.

Imagine how much of the drama of the past week could have been avoided if instead of pointing fingers at the police and crying that he wasn't being interviewed, he would have been the stand up man he expects of others and said, yeah, we just robbed the c-store, and Mike assaulted someone working in the store.

But instead, he's out there crying wolf.

Sad that Mike died.  He didn't need to.  There still may be some training needed by Ferguson police. 

On the other hand, we don't have an angelic kid who never hurt anyone and wouldn't have assaulted the officer.

The recently released video and Johnson's recent admission that it was him and Brown robbing the store lends credibility to the officers account.

Shiloh4eva2013
Shiloh4eva2013

Everyone has something negative to say , because  it isn't their child ; but wait this situation could happen to you . Be very very careful how you try to tear this young man's truth, because if this was to happen to you , your child, family member, friend and even pets, you would want someone to have spoken up about what they saw. He's truth is He's truth . To me the officer was harassing and provoking them both. Like the normally do. Because "SOME" think they are above the law . But hey who am I to JUDGE .......  No one but and American citizen who has rights but at any given time they can be taken from me because of someone has a major EGO complex...  That girl  K  A  R  M  A  is a bitch with gasoline panties on, and when it is your turn you will get burned....

Tammie Brandenburger Copeland
Tammie Brandenburger Copeland

Cause STL co. Cops and all the cops of each lil township is corrupt.... Trust me they over use force when not needed and lack force when they should step up ...

paranormalpsy
paranormalpsy

As a former Sheriff, we have protocols that we must adhere to, or be faced with criminal and civil prosecution from our wrongdoings; yet on this particular incident, its obvious that multiple witnesses were able to clearly observed the "Murder" shooting from the racist cop. What's more amazing its the Department's cover-up of the unjust killing, and the lack of concern by the Governor, the State Attorneys Office and apathy from a black President to interfere. Its now the direct responsibility of the FBI to investigate and to arrest the multiple officers who also illegally arrested several journalist. Whatever happened to freedom of the Press in America? Its exactly this type of social oppression from law enforcement and governmental prejudice, which ignites ferocious "Riots" by citizens who are seeking justice!!!!.

Charles Del Campo

Investigative Journalist

Ray Fish
Ray Fish

During his interview on tv (15 minutes of fame) he gave too many details for the stress he says he was subjected to. His present clothes cover the gang tattoos present during that interview. Don't worry he will be interviewed.

mnyamaone
mnyamaone

Why did they even stop to begin with? I'm sure there are more pressing crimes to investigate than two guys walking in the street. This "offense" didn't even warrant attention. They backed up into a world of trouble when they could have simply kept rolling. These punk fraidy cats are so intent on getting respect and giving orders that they can't walk away from simple things. I hope this guy never rests - the same as GZ - simply because all he had to do was keep driving.Sometimes it's best to just STFU and keep it moving.

Dawn Rednour
Dawn Rednour

Cops NEVER shoot without a reason..That's total BS...On numerous occasions innocent people have been shot&killed by police.Where is their justice?

mrtla691
mrtla691

The Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson need to resign ASAP and the police officer need to be charged with murder so the crowds will go away. They will keep up the protesting and looting until the  officer is arrested.  
Also the Police Chief of Clayton County need to step down and resign for trying to cover this matter up. It's the Police fault this is out of hand. 

samantharus
samantharus

just heard on NPR that they think he may not be contacting the police because he has warrants for other things unrelated. I don't blame him for not wanting to be in their custody!

blacktod1
blacktod1

They don't need his statement.  12 bullets in a young man on his knees with no weapons is statement enough... This cop is going to Jail.  Folks need to relax.  Can't cover up a crime of this nature.  

Tyler_Durden
Tyler_Durden

This, coming from the people who doctored the Zimmerman 911 call. You can trust them.

Keith Piskulic
Keith Piskulic

The police know something we dont. Unconfirmed report that Mike Brown slammed the cops head on his dash and did reach for his gun. These other clams from this guy and others might be lies. Just seems to far fetched why would a cop strait up shot a kid unless he thought his life was in danger. Cops are trained highly. things a lot people dont understand or comprehend.

Janet Hart Loher
Janet Hart Loher

Thank you for asking! Responsible journalists must ask the questions. Stay vigilant.

Stephanie Thorsten
Stephanie Thorsten

Jayden, Bosley is being sued for "misusing" his clients money, almost $80,000 worth. I certainly wouldn't seek him out for representation. Race has nothing to do with his character. A thief is still a thief.

Jennifer Otten-Hanlon
Jennifer Otten-Hanlon

The FBI is taking over the investigation so that's probably why STLPD hasn't interviewed him yet. It just happened 4 days ago. If we want justice we need to give it time to be served.

Pam Turner Tyrey
Pam Turner Tyrey

The truth has to come from BOTH sides, or it will never be resolved...

Pam Turner Tyrey
Pam Turner Tyrey

This kid said the officer was in his car and reached through the window and put his hands around Michaels throat...How is this possible if Michael was 6 foot and 300 lbs...Lies already ?

Ross Hutchison
Ross Hutchison

I mean to say someone killed themselves for political reasons is fine if that's what they did it for but I usually see those brave protestors on fire in somewhere and it is shocking I've fucking dealt with suicide and it is not pretty I've actually wished that it had been an accident cause you can deal with it better. father then 8 months later my older brother so I know the pain the and anger, and of course the why. To try and make and jump on the media bandwagon in this way is sickening. You have no idea what the families are going through right now unless you've been there.

gsmith
gsmith

@kseniyacholock Then their training violates the law.  SCOTUS said in 1985 deadly force may not be used to arrest a fleeing unarmed suspected FELON unless it is necessary to prevent the escape AND the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant threat of death or serious physical injury to the officer or others.

Jay walking is not a felony!

The police have said he was not stopped because of the earlier robbery.

Michael Brown was not a suspect in a felony.

Michael Brown was not armed.

Michael Brown presented no threat to the officers.

Whenever the suspected felon is no longer a threat, all use of deadly force must cease.  It is murder when you shoot someone who is unarmed and defenseless, regardless of their previous threat.

Believe2014
Believe2014

@tbright1965 Care to recant your post just like Mr. Johnson recanted his original version of the incident??

Hurley09
Hurley09

@tbright1965 shut your mouth...that doesn't fit the narrative, therefore it did not happen and is irrelevant. lol

lonnie.franklin
lonnie.franklin

@paranormalpsy And it sounds like another arm chair judge has reached a guilty verdict on hear say! It sounds like you have received your degree the same place as the other judges that are looting and burning, no need for a trial. Ole pothead that had just participated in a strong arm robbery told us what happened & we know he is a fine upstanding law abiding citizen.

skiarun
skiarun

Golly, Ray, you sure must have some superhuman powers that the rest of us do not have:  ex-ray vision, being a human lie detector (right through the TV screen) as well as the ability to predict the future.


Why bother with an investigation?  Just offer up your services for the sake of justice.  Surely a person with your extraordinary talents wouldn't be biased or jump to any conclusions.

great_cards2011
great_cards2011

@mnyamaone Let's not forget Brown was 6'4" 250-300 LBs.by some reports....lets ignore the fact he was trying to get the officers gun...who does that? The cop drives by, get out the street, yes sir officer....end of story. Yet I bet you anything they were disrespectful little thugs...

thuoi.ly
thuoi.ly

uhmm what if he's a racist or wait for it.... KKK ?? Being a cop doesn't stop you from being a racist or neo nazi

jlakfull
jlakfull

@mrtla691 There have been peaceful protesters, you know? And many took responsibility to clean up the mess

Believe2014
Believe2014

@blacktod1 12 bullets?  On his knees?  Cover up?  Yes by the witness, guess in this case the cop was justified 

Really
Really

No offense to you Keith but cops are human too.  They can get angry, lie and commit crimes.  So I doubt all the witnesses will lie but the cops whose lives are on the line will tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

thuoi.ly
thuoi.ly

idk man just recently there were two cops that were arrested in Florida because they were KKK members... but go ahead they're "trained highly"

mnyamaone
mnyamaone

Amazing how you folks think young Black men just look for police and try to grab their guns. Why did the cops even back up for two guys walking in the street. Just like GZ they could have kept driving. This is another instance of two white guys being tough and getting in over their heads. They can't fight so they drive and trot around with guns "defending themselves." Just stay your paranoid tails at home.

mrtla691
mrtla691

I disagree ..  The police department is facing a mutuality Million dollar law suite and it Ferguson go bankrupt over this St.Louis County wont be able to get paid. 

Remember the brother hood the police officer have between each other . if one get cough up in a crime they might turn state witness  and tell on other things the department is doing that is unlawful to get his time reduce . 
Also remember  this  NO police put people in the squad car without  hand cuffs. And it's just natural for a cop to lie to get out of trouble,

he's only human. 

signboysigns
signboysigns

I saw reports he was 6' 4"......even at 6' it is a bit hard to grab a man around the neck sitting in a police cruiser

tbright1965
tbright1965

@Believe2014 @tbright1965

Fill me in here.  I'm commenting on Dorian Johnson.  Did Dorian Johnson recant what he said?  Again?

Links, video, give me more than just you saying he recanted.

Color me confused by what you are asking.


Really
Really

@great_cards2011 @mnyamaone What the poster was saying is that they were walking down the street when the cop stopped them.  You are a sheep to believe he was trying to get the officer's weapon.  The officer knew he messed up with the shooting so let's justify it by saying he grabbed for his weapon.  I have a bridge to sell you too.  So that officer was justified to kill a man with his hands up as well or are all the witnesses wrong too.

meuang.lao
meuang.lao

@thuoi.ly The next line was "That's total BS", m8. You guys have the same opinion.

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