'No rush to judgment;' local, federal agencies investigate shooting


by Adam McDonald / KMOV.com staff


Posted on August 11, 2014 at 4:07 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 11 at 6:00 PM

What is your take on the unrest in North St. Louis County?

ST.LOUIS (KMOV.com) – The FBI, St. Louis County Police Department, and the St. Louis County NAACP say they have begun their own investigations into the shooting death of 18-year-old Mike Brown, but say the case will continue to move slowly due to the large number of witnesses each organization says they have to talk with.

“There has been no rush to judgment on this case,” said St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar. “There are several witnesses we need to talk to. We are still waiting to talk to some people we believe will lend itself to this investigation.”

Photos from the protest: Computer / Mobile

Along with Belmar, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley says the case will be “an open and transparent process” and urges the public to be patient while authorities continue investigating.

The incident happened in a roadway Saturday afternoon near the Canfield Green Apartments in the 2900 block of Canfield. Witnesses tell News 4 that Brown was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot multiple times by a Ferguson police officer. 

According to Dorian Johnson, a friend of Mike Brown, the officer told the two of them not to walk on the street, reached out and grabbed Brown. “[The officer] shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air,” said Johnson. “He started to get down and the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and fired several more shots.”

“One of those individuals at the time allegedly pushed the officer back into this car,” Belmar said. “[He] physically assaulted the police officer.” Belmar says the officer fired once from in his car, exited the vehicle and fired multiple times.

Police will not say how many times Brown was shot or whether the autopsy showed Brown was shot while he was on the ground, as a witness claims. It has not been determined if the officer who shot Brown broke the law and will be charged with a crime.

A vigil was held Sunday to honor Brown, but the vigil quickly turned violent with hundreds of people rioting and looting in Ferguson Sunday night. However, protesters took to the streets Monday morning for a peaceful protest, seeking justice for Brown and his family.

Governor Nixon is calling for a federal investigation of the shooting and asked the Department of Justice for an independent investigation. The St. Louis County NAACP also says they have launched their own an investigation and plan to “get to the bottom of what has occurred and will work to ensure that justice is served for all victims involved.”