Two new eyewitnesses have come forward to say they saw Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown put his hands up before a police officer fatally shot him, CNNreports.
The witnesses — two construction contractors who were about 50 feet away from the shooting — spoke with CNN but declined to release their names. CNN also obtained a mobile phone video that recorded their reactions to the shooting moments after it happened.
Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was killed last month while he was with his friend Dorian Johnson. Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white man and six-year veteran of the police force, reportedly stopped Brown and Johnson for blocking traffic by walking in the street.
Some eyewitnesses have said Brown had his hands up when he was shot, but police say either Brown or Johnson pushed Wilson into the cop car and assaulted him before Brown was shot, according to the Associated Press.
Police say Brown reached for Wilson’s gun during the alleged altercation. At least one shot was reportedly fired before the trio got out of the car, and the altercation continued on the street, according to this account.
But the two eyewitnesses who recently spoke to CNN told a different story.
One man told CNN: “The cop didn’t say get on the ground. He just kept shooting. … [Brown’s] hands were up.”
The other witness told CNN he saw Brown running from the cop car when Wilson shot him. He put his hands up, and Wilson was chasing him, the witness said. The contractor also said Brown had his back turned at one point when Wilson shot him.
These accounts seem to corroborate what Johnson has said about the shooting.
He told CNN in August he and Brown were walking in the street when Wilson — who wasn’t identified until about a week after the shooting — pulled up and told them to get on the sidewalk. He drove forward, but then backed up and stopped, according to Johnson.
“We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike’s body and closed back on the officer,” he told CNN.
Wilson then backed up in his car and allegedly confronted the pair again, grabbing Brown by the neck and drawing his weapon, saying he was going to shoot. Johnson and Brown reportedly started running, and Johnson was able to hide behind a car as Wilson got out of his police cruiser. He said Wilson was running after Brown as he kept shooting.
In August, other eyewitnesses confirmed this account of what happened, saying Brown was trying to get away from Wilson and had his hands up when he was shot.
Protests erupted in the St. Louis suburb of 21,000 people after news of the shooting spread. The National Guard was eventually called in to tame the situation. The Justice Department is investigating the shooting and allegations of unlawful policing in Ferguson.
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