WASHINGTON -- A young man who said he witnessed the shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, is talking to police on Wednesday.
St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Brian Schellman told The Huffington Post at approximately 4:45 p.m. EDT that detectives are currently speaking with Dorian Johnson, 22, a friend of Brown's who disputes the version of events provided by police.
The St. Louis County Police Department, which has been called in to investigate the Aug. 9 shooting by a Ferguson police officer, has stated that Brown was the aggressor in the situation, physically assaulting and trying to grab the gun of the officer, who has yet to be named.
But Johnson says he and Brown were walking in the middle of the street when the officer pulled up in a car and told them to get on the sidewalk. After a verbal disagreement, Johnson says, the officer grabbed Brown by the throat and started shooting at him shortly after.
"My friend stopped running, his hands went immediately in the air and he turned around towards the officer, face-to-face," Johnson said in a recent interview with KSDK in St. Louis. "He started to tell the officer he was unarmed and that you should stop shooting me. Before he can get his second sentence out, the officer fired several more shots into his head and chest areas."
Many critics of the police department's handling of the investigation have wondered why Johnson, who has been out there telling his story to the media and seems to be a key witness, had not yet been interviewed by the authorities.
Schellman, the police department spokesman, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the police department had made multiple efforts to speak to Johnson but that his attorney, Freeman Bosley, Jr., had not returned their calls.
“Obviously we're not avoiding this guy,” he said. “This is the guy we have to talk to.”
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