So, in their usual fashion, the New York Times has spilled the beans on information that was supposed to remain confidential until a grand jury was finished with the question on whether or not to indict Ferguson Officer Darren Wilson with any sort of crime. Â From their article:
The police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two months ago has told investigators that he was pinned in his vehicle and in fear for his life as he struggled over his gun with Mr. Brown, according to government officials briefed on the federal civil rights investigation into the matter.
The officer, Darren Wilson, has told the authorities that during the scuffle, Mr. Brown reached for the gun. It was fired twice in the car, according to forensics tests performed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The first bullet struck Mr. Brown in the arm; the second bullet missed.
The forensics tests showed Mr. Brownâ€™s blood on the gun, as well as on the interior door panel and on Officer Wilsonâ€™s uniform. Officer Wilson told the authorities that Mr. Brown had punched and scratched him repeatedly, leaving swelling on his face and cuts on his neck.
The Times correctly points out that Wilson’s testimony was voluntary and quite a surprise for investigators as forensic evidence backs his account and several other accounts of the incident that refute the popular “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” rallying cry. Â Earlier this week, an eyewitness came forward with his recollection of the incident that seems to corroborate Wilson’s account, albeit without being in the position of having to make split second decisions and shooting at a charging three hundred pound man.
Given the tenor of the article, it is most likely that the Times is working from documents involved with the federal investigation on civil rights violations (so far, investigators can’t find any) as the St. Louis County Prosecutor has stressed that both local and federal officials have the same evidence.
This New York Times effort came on the same day as another shooting incident, this time by officers with the Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms who had individuals under surveillance in connection with the robbery of a gun dealer. Â No one actually got shot, but the suspects rammed two ATF vehicles.
Also yesterday from KMOV, the local CBS affiliate, comes the pricetag of what all the protesters and protests here in St. Louis County are costing us. Â $5.7 million. Â So far.
The massive police response to Ferguson in the wake of the shooting death of Michael Brown on Aug. 9 will take nearly $1.5M from the Missouri state budget.According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, the Missouri State Highway Patrol costs total $1.1M while activating the National Guard will cost the state roughly $384,000.This estimate is solely for the initial response: from the time protests erupted right after Brown died to the last few weekdays of August.St. Louis County officials estimated the countyâ€™s initial cost will be $4.2M.Thatâ€™s a combination of money going to police overtime, fixing damaged cop cars and food and supplies for first responders.
And yes, court costs, fees and bail have been raised to help recoup some of this. Â A full breakdown of the St. Louis County costs for August can be found at the KMOV website. Â St. Louis Metropolitan Police costs are not included in these figures.