Dorian Johnson, a friend of Michael Brown who claims to have been with him when he was shot and killed by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, has given MSNBC the full account of how events transpired that police have so far refused to hear. "I saw the barrel of the gun pointed at my friend," Johnson, 22, said. "Then I saw the fire come out of the barrel."
Johnson told MSNBC that he had spotted Brown walking home and joined him, about 20 minutes before a police car drove up and the shooting began. Here's how he claims the incident started:
The officer demanded that the two "get the f—k on the sidewalk," Johnson says. "His exact words were get the f—k on the sidewalk."
After telling the officer that they were almost at their destination, Johnson's house, the two continued walking. But as they did, Johnson says the officer slammed his brakes and threw his truck in reverse, nearly hitting them.
Now, in line with the officer's driver's side door, they could see the officer's face. They heard him say something to the effect of, "what'd you say?" At the same time, Johnson says the officer attempted to thrust his door open but the door slammed into Brown and bounced closed. Johnson says the officer, with his left hand, grabbed Brown by the neck.
The whole time, Johnson told MSNBC, he was within arm's reach of Brown and the officer.
“They’re not wrestling so much as his arm went from his throat to now clenched on his shirt,” Johnson said. “It’s like tug of war. He’s trying to pull him in. He’s pulling away, that’s when I heard, ‘I’m gonna shoot you.’”
After the officer allegedly fired the first shot, hitting Brown, the two started running. Johnson said he ducked behind a car. He says Brown continued running, telling him, "Keep running, bro!" That's when Johnson says Brown was shot by the officer again.
“I don’t have a gun, stop shooting!” Johnson recalled Brown saying with his hands in the air. Johnson said the officer then fired several more shots.
St. Louis County Police Department's account of the shooting has been murky, only going so far to claim Brown assaulted the officer before the shooting took place and that an investigation is ongoing. The department has also reneged on its plan to release the officer's name today.
Freeman Bosley, Johnson's attorney and a former mayor of St. Louis, told MSNBC that police refuse to hear Johnson's testimony.
“They don’t want the facts," Bosley said. "What they want is to justify what happened..what they are trying to do now is justify what happened instead of trying to point out the wrong. Something is wrong here and that’s what it is.”
Update, 1:38 p.m.: A tipster sent us the following video, wherein another person claiming to be an eyewitness appears to corroborate Johnson's retelling. I've reached out to the video's uploader for comment and will update if I receive a response.
Comments have been turned off on this post because some asshole keeps posting gore and porn GIFs and we don't have an adequate way to stop him. Sorry.
[Image via AP]