UPDATE: The recording below has been authenticated by the company that makes the app used to record the call so we are looking at a first degree, premeditated murder situation. To be clear, the only way this company could possibly know that their app was used to make the recording, is because the FBI went to them for authentication.
We may have an audio recording of Michael Brown’s murder. Here’s the report and audio from CNN:
If this audio is authentic (we don’t definitively know that), it’s pretty significant since we know two things to be empirically true:
- The fatal shot to Michael brown was the last one to enter his body.
- Per the Ferguson police chief’s initial press conference, the shooter was 35 feet away from Michael when he fired.
You can hear six shots, a three to four second pause, and then either four or five more shots. So either the shooter got all six of the first wave of bullets into Michael and missed all of the last four or five shots OR he had time to let a couple of thoughts run through his mind before firing the fatal shot. We know that the incident began with physical contact between Brown and the shooter at the police car. Three different witnesses, including Michael Brown’s friend all confirm that. Since the Ferguson police spokesman told us that there was thirty-five feet between Michael and his shooter at the time of Michael’s death, we know that Michael ran away because that distance didn’t magically open up on its own.
Here’s the Ferguson police spokesman‘s first press conference:
He plainly confirms that a distance opened up between Brown and the shooter. Let me digress for a moment to review some other notable comments the spokesman made. He said that he didn’t know how many times Brown had been shot. I find that incredibly hard to believe, given that the press conference was held the day after Brown was killed. He said that it would be up to six weeks before the toxicology report was going to be available and yet, they conveniently managed to get that out within hours of the details of Michael’s private autopsy being revealed. Curious. He also volunteered the following, "….the officer who was involved is, ah, been on the police department about six years. I’m unaware of any other issues that he’s been involved in during his employment as a police officer in the city of Ferguson". Let’s take a closer look at the parts of that sentence that stood out to me;
….the officer who was involved is, ah, been on the police department about six years. I’m unaware of any other issues that he’s been involved in during his employment as a police officer in the city of Ferguson.
That was a lot of equivocating. "I’m unaware" is a clear establishment of plausible deniability. "I’m unaware" is very different from, "He was not involved in any…". I found "he’s been" a curious (and possibly Freudian) way to phrase what he’s trying to say. There should be something between "he’s" and "been" like, "hasn’t" or "may have". It was just strange. That one could just be nothing, but it’s odd. When I heard the press conference initially, I thought the last part of the sentence, "in the city of Ferguson" was odd, but I didn’t know why. Now we know. The shooter came from a police force that were disbanded and all fired because their relationship with the black community in the area they were charged with "serving" and "protecting" was so toxic, that they had to go. That was three years ago, which would fall into the spokesman’s "six years" statement. I don’t know why he didn’t just limit his comments to the shooter’s tenure with the Ferguson police department, but he didn’t and that explains the last part of that sentence. He was lying, and he knew it. There’s no possible way that Ferguson was unaware of the circumstances of the shooter’s separation from his previous employer.
If the only information we had on this incident, was the information contained in that original press conference, this would be unacceptable to anyone who cared about their community and the country at large. There was a distance of thirty-five feet that opened up during the course of an unarmed person being gunned down. Thirty-five feet is not self defense, and no rational person can make that claim. And anyone who wants to defend this is a fool. We can’t sanction this kind of behavior from our police forces.
The identity of the victim is irrelevant. The color of the victim is irrelevant. The size of the victim is irrelevant. The drug use of the victim is irrelevant. The temperament of the victim is irrelevant. All of these things became irrelevant with every foot of increasing distance that opened up between him and his shooter. Period. I have to question the motive and intelligence of anyone who wants to make these things relevant. Motive, because this is a clear case of a cop overreacting with disproportionate force and I have to question where the motivation to see it differently comes from. Intelligence, because you really have to be a special kind of stupid not to be able to see where condoning this shooting by this cop will lead for all of the cops, contemplating any shooting.
Without this audio recording, this was a clear cut case of murder. If this recording is authenticated, we know that this was a premeditated execution. Remember, premeditation doesn’t mean pre-planning. It means that whatever that cop was thinking for those three to four seconds before firing off another barrage of bullets at an unarmed man, was meditation.
I imagine that there are a significant number of people that will press on with defending the shooter by making Michael Brown a "bad guy" but the fact of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what kind of guy he was. This was an execution, and no one should want a cop to get away with doing that to anyone in their community because the next victim may be someone they know. Giving a group of people license to shoot their weapons with impunity and no fear of repercussion is an incredibly bad idea. I can’t even fucking believe I have to say that.