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ACLU: Ferguson police report on Michael Brown's death violates law

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM
  • 37 Replies
ACLU: Ferguson police report on Michael Brown's death violates law
Yahoo News

Jason Sickles, Yahoo 3 hours ago

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A police report on the death of Michael Brown is missing key information and violates Missouri open records laws, an ACLU attorney told Yahoo News on Friday.

The two-page document, which the Ferguson Police Department released only after pressure from journalists and civil liberties advocates, is largely redacted or left blank. The most egregious omissions are the victim’s name and a description of the offense – the fatal shooting of Brown.

“They are breaking the law,” said Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri.

The report, obtained by Yahoo News through the Missouri Sunshine Law, lists only the date, time and location. Fields for the type of incident, name of the complainant, and a summary of the circumstances are redacted.

“I’ve never seen an incident report that didn’t contain a description of the incident, at least on some basic level,” said Don Tittle, a veteran Texas civil and criminal attorney. “It makes you wonder if they don’t want to commit to a story.”



The report comes nearly two weeks after Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old, in broad daylight in the middle of a residential street.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has said Wilson was attempting to get Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, to stop walking in the middle of the street when the officer realized the pair fit the description of suspects being sought in the theft of cigars from a nearby convenience store.

A scuffle ensued and, according to Jackson, a shot was fired inside the officer’s squad car as Brown attempted to grab Wilson’s gun.

But Johnson has told reporters that it was Wilson who was the aggressor and that Brown never went for the weapon. Instead, Johnson says Wilson shot his friend while Brown was trying to flee but had stopped and put his hands up in surrender.

The death has sparked nightly protests in the mostly-black St. Louis suburb. Allegations of racism and a lack of transparency about the shooting have been at the heart of sometimes violent clashes between demonstrators and police. Chief Jackson waited nearly a week before revealing the name of the officer who shot Brown at least six times.

The ACLU filed a lawsuit to try and compel Ferguson to make the disclosure. But their attorney told Yahoo News that the incomplete police report just adds to the mistrust in Ferguson.

“It doesn’t tell us anything,” Rothert said. “We have to imagine what is there because it is all redacted.”


Missouri’s Sunshine Law states law enforcement agencies must promptly provide incident reports that include among other things, “name of the victim and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the initial report of a crime or incident.”

Devin James, a contract spokesperson hired by the City of Ferguson since Brown’s death, told Yahoo News that questions about the report’s missing information “are beyond the scope of what my team can respond to.” He referred questions to City Attorney Stephanie Karr, who didn’t immediately reply.

Officer Wilson, 28, is on paid leaving pending the outcome of multiple investigations. A St. Louis County Circuit Court grand jury began hearing testimony about the shooting this week. The U.S. Department of Justice is also investigating possible civil rights violations.

The state investigation is being conducted by the St. Louis County Police Department. A copy of their offense report does list Brown as the victim, but doesn’t give a summary of what happened.

The county’s report reveals that the larger metro department didn’t receive a call on the Aug. 9 shooting until 12:43 p.m., about 40 minutes after Brown was killed.

“So we have no idea what happened during those 43 minutes,” Rothert said. “It just adds to the complete lack of transparency about what happened.”

Last week, Chief Jackson gave members of the media 19 pages of police documents, photos and video from a convenience store robbery that occurred shortly before the fatal shooting. Police said they believe Brown and Johnson had just stolen cigars at the store before crossing paths with Officer Wilson on their way home.

“They have obviously taken the shooting of Michael Brown less seriously than the alleged robbery of cigarillos,” Rothert said. “That’s pretty disturbing.”
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Aug. 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM
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sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Aug. 22, 2014 at 11:37 PM
1 mom liked this
The county’s report reveals that the larger metro department didn’t receive a call on the Aug. 9 shooting until 12:43 p.m., about 40 minutes after Brown was killed.

“So we have no idea what happened during those 43 minutes,” Rothert said. “It just adds to the complete lack of transparency about what happened.”
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latashac
by Bronze Member on Aug. 22, 2014 at 11:41 PM
2 moms liked this
What a shit show this is. I am still waiting for the photos that show the officers face since he was so "badly beaten" yet he managed to pace the scene for hours after with no medical attention needed.
sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Aug. 22, 2014 at 11:57 PM
I want to know why something as basic as calling in a shooting wasn't done



Quoting latashac: What a shit show this is. I am still waiting for the photos that show the officers face since he was so "badly beaten" yet he managed to pace the scene for hours after with no medical attention needed.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
latashac
by Bronze Member on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:00 AM
Probably because when you shoot someone when they are surrendering in broad daylight it should normally raise flags, and some hard questions get asked.

But that suggestion is of course preposterous because this was a "good guy" with a gun keeping us all safe.

Quoting sweet-a-kins: I want to know why something as basic as calling in a shooting wasn't done



Quoting latashac: What a shit show this is. I am still waiting for the photos that show the officers face since he was so "badly beaten" yet he managed to pace the scene for hours after with no medical attention needed.
erika9009
by Bronze Member on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:03 AM
1 mom liked this

The ACLU had no business having the word American in it's title anymore.

Maybe it should be "Subset of Americans Civil Liberties Union".

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:04 AM
1 mom liked this

Your first clue that they are full of shit is the fact that they are ACLU.

turtle68
by Mahinaarangi on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:08 AM
1 mom liked this

that to me was the catalyst for bullshittery.

Quoting sweet-a-kins: I want to know why something as basic as calling in a shooting wasn't done
Quoting latashac: What a shit show this is. I am still waiting for the photos that show the officers face since he was so "badly beaten" yet he managed to pace the scene for hours after with no medical attention needed.


Iconoclast
by on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:15 AM
If they are full of shit they must have also been on that police force.

Quoting kailu1835:

Your first clue that they are full of shit is the fact that they are ACLU.

2007mommy2be
by Silver Member on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:36 AM
1 mom liked this
Because he dun fucked up.

Quoting sweet-a-kins: I want to know why something as basic as calling in a shooting wasn't done



Quoting latashac: What a shit show this is. I am still waiting for the photos that show the officers face since he was so "badly beaten" yet he managed to pace the scene for hours after with no medical attention needed.
2007mommy2be
by Silver Member on Aug. 23, 2014 at 12:37 AM
What's the ACLU?
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