Michael Brown audio evidence was released this week. The new audio, released from a video chat, reveals that the cop who gunned down 18-year-old Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, fired what sounds like a total of ten shots – a cluster of six in quick succession, a pause, followed by four more.
This latest recording may provide additional clues to those who have been waiting for weeks on slow to be released details – or it may raise additional questions, depending on what camp you are in.
Dueling theories have already emerged. Those who support Darren Wilson as defending himself at what has been reported as a charging Michael Brown say the officer’s firing pattern proves that Brown was not dropped by the initial salvo, and continued to try to attack Wilson, causing the second burst of shots. Those who say that Brown posed no threat to Officer Wilson say the multiple shots, coupled with a pause, display an unwarranted use of excessive force.
Writes CNN: “The FBI has questioned a man who says he recorded audio of gunfire at the time Brown was shot by Ferguson police on August 9, the man's attorney told CNN. The man, who asked that his identity not be revealed, lives near the site of the shooting and was close enough to have heard the gunshots, his attorney said.”
Speaking on behalf of the unnamed source, the man's attorney, Lopa Blumenthal, said: “I was very concerned about that pause ... because it's not just the number of gunshots, it's how they're fired. And that has a huge relevance on how this case might finally end up.”
In the audio recording, we hear a man talking aloud and extolling a woman he is attracted to. In the background, the shots can clearly be heard. CNN and other news outlets have not been able to independently verify the authenticity of the recording, but the audio file has since been turned over to the FBI.
“To be fair, there could be other explanations for that pause,” said attorney Van Jones, co-host of CNN's Crossfire. “Maybe the officer will say, ‘Well I fired, and he kept advancing, so I fired again.’”
The 22-year-old that was with Brown, Dorian Johnson, said that Wilson shot Brown once while the two struggled in Wilson’s patrol car, then, as Brown was running away, the officer fired again, hitting the unarmed teen in the back. At that point, Johnson says, Brown put his arms up and turned, accounting for the pause, and then Wilson kept firing.
However, forensic analysis and Brown’s autopsy results tell a different story. The autopsy showed that all the entry wounds were in the front of Brown's body, not the back. Johnson, according CNN, has a criminal record that includes lying to police, which “has put Johnson's credibility in question. In 2011, Johnson was arrested and accused of theft and lying to police about his first name, age and address,” reports CNN.
For more on the Michael Brown story: