November 28, 2014 – The Strange Case of Ferguson Witness 40

November 28, 2014 By Jack Cashill

Easily the strangest of all the documents that have emerged from the Darren Wilson grand jury is the one attributed to Witness 40. These are the pages pulled from her — I assume her based on writing style — diary entries from the day Michael Brown was shot, August 9, 2014. She does not appear to have been interviewed.
On the face of things, Witness 40 fully corroborates the testimony of Officer Wilson. I leave the grammar uncorrected. “The cop was wobbling,” she wrote from her anxious perch in a silver Pontiac stopped behind Wilson’s car, “the big kid turned and had his arms out with attitude. The cop just stood there dang if that kid didn’t start running right at the cop like a football player, head down.”
Her take on the final scenario matches not only Wilson’s description, but also the autopsy findings. “I heard cop say something but not sure what or if he was just making noise,” she continued. “Cop took a couple steps forward then backwards then the gun went off 2 more times. The last one on the top of the kids head. Omg the blood.”
To dissect testimony like Witness 40’s, fourteenth-century philosopher William of Occam had a useful rule of thumb. We know it as Occam’s Razor, and it is often stated thusly: “The simplest explanation is usually the best.” The original Latin –“Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate” — adds a wrinkle. This translates roughly, “Multiple variables are not to be posited without necessity.”
The simplest explanation is that the Witness 40 diary entry is authentic. It is hard to believe that prosecutors from the State of Missouri and the Department of Justice would allow a fraudulent document into the official record of a case so thoroughly scrutinized. Even if they wanted Wilson to walk, they did not need a document this suspect. They already had sworn testimony from at least half-a-dozen African American witnesses on the scene.

“The dude turned back around and started charging the police officer,” testified Witness 48. “The police officer told him to stop at least three times. And the boy wouldn’t stop, he fired three rounds, the dude kept running, fired four more rounds, and then he finished off the rounds I guess, and he fell dead on the ground.”

“And all of a sudden the young man he turned around and started coming back towards the officer yeah right,” said Witness 34.

“He started charging towards the police officer,” said Witness 10. This witness then described how Wilson began to fire, then ceased firing when Brown stopped running. “And then Mr. Brown continued, started again to charge towards him and after that the police officer returned fire.”

As uncomfortable as the truth must have been for the major media, the exposure of the lies on which their reporting has been based must have been even more distressing. Consider this exchange between a prosecutor and one grand jury witness.

P: “You told them a story that had a bunch of lies, isn’t that right?”
W: A bunch of lies?
P: “Well, you told them that you saw the officer stand over Michael Brown and empty his clip into his body and finish him off, didn’t you say that?”
W: “I did say that, but it was based on assumption.”

This would all seem to support Witness 40, but Occam says not so fast. There are other necessary variables to consider. For one, Witness 40 does not appear to be black. For another, as MSNBC tells the reader in its headline, “Michael Brown shooting witness wrote of negative views of blacks.”


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