Thursday, November 27, 2014

Darren Wilson’s story hasn’t changed since August 9th

One of the easiest ways to tell if someone is not being honest about his/her involvement in a crime is whether they are consistent in recounting events. As indicated in this WaPo story, OFC Wilson has never changed his story. Not once.

Wilson gave his first and so far only interview Tuesday to ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, saying that he didn’t think he could have handled the confrontation with Brown any differently.

“Everybody says that [his story] was so rehearsed and he was so prepped,” Thompson said. “But the way Darren tells the story has not changed from the minute the shooting occurred. He could probably tell it in his sleep if he had to.”

“If I could, I’d show you my notes from one hour after it happened,” Kloeppel said, referring to an interview Wilson did at Ferguson police headquarters Aug. 9. “Same story.”

As anyone not living on Mars since August knows, OFC Wilson shot and killed Michael Brown after a confrontation on a street in Ferguson, MO. Wlson, white, killed Brown, black, in an episode that took all of 90 seconds.

There are no video or audio recordings of the incident, and notoriously unreliable eyewitness accounts varied. However, some of those eyewitnesses changed their testimony as the saga unfolded between the fateful August afternoon and Monday night’s announcement that a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict Wilson.

Sifting through the evidence released by the prosecutor—all of which was presented to the grand jury—it becomes clear that even if DA Bob McColluch had gotten the proverbial “ham sandwich” indicted, a jury trial would never have resulted in a conviction beyond reasonable doubt.

The golden thread in that conclusion is that Wilson’s story never changed. You can see it in the interview with St. Louis County Police detectives. You can see it in his grand jury testimony, and you can see it in Wilson’s interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC.

The fact that Mr. Wilson’s story has never wavered during the four month saga is not an indication that he is innocent of wrongdoing. But it is a powerful indication that he remembers every detail of the incident that led to the tragic death of an 18-year old.

If you’re lying, it’s almost guaranteed that you’ll cross up some of the details over the passage of time. That’s why interrogators use multiple interviews—all recorded—to go over the minute details of what could be a crime. If you tell the same story, over and over and over again, police and prosecutors have little reason to believe that you are being untruthful. If even small details are changed during the course of these multiple interviews, it causes investigators to dig deeper, probe more thoroughly, and use inconsistencies to build a case for probable cause.

The forensic evidence associated with this incident supports Wilson’s account of events and discredits eyewitness accounts. The multiple autopsies show the same. Brown refused a lawful order from a sworn officer. He then initiated a violent confrontation with Wilson, in which he struggled for the officer’s sidearm. He was shot in the hand at close range and tried to flee. As Wilson exited his vehicle to give pursuit, Brown turned and tried to bull rush the policeman. Wilson fired multiple shots, nearly emptying his magazine, and fatally wounded Brown. It was tragic. It was unnecessary. But it was Brown’s fault, not Wilson’s, that he is now dead and buried and Wilson walks as a free man.

We have confidence in this conclusion based on the simple fact that from the hours after the incident until the interview on ABC, Wilson’s story has not changed. Not one bit.


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