His final fall was at least 108 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. This 300 percent difference is actually a very big deal and is a significant part of Darren Wilson's defense. The St. Louis-area police have continued to advance this lie for over 103 days since Mike Brown was killed on Canfield Drive on the afternoon of August 9 in Ferguson, Missouri. Here we will methodically expose this lie and examine just why it's so important.
On this past Monday, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency in Missouri in anticipation for some level of unrest regarding a decision from the grand jury in the Darren Wilson case. Covering this decision, and the case in general, CNN authoritatively states that the Mike Brown was found 35 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. Watch just the first 20 seconds of this video to see how Erin Burnett frames the case,
On August 10, 2014, St. Louis County Police Chief John Belmar held his first press conference on the shooting of Mike Brown by Officer Darren Wilson of the nearby Ferguson Police Department. His force had been called in to take over the investigation for the much smaller local department. The shooting had occurred less than 24 hours earlier, and the tensions on the ground in Ferguson were already red hot and boiling over.
Six different witnesses on the scene claimed that Mike Brown was shot at repeatedly from behind before he turned around, faced Darren Wilson, verbally surrendered, and put his hands in the air. Wilson, having already shot at Mike Brown at least six times while he fled, then fired off a barrage of four quick shots at the surrendered Brown he was looking at face to face, killing him on the spot. With his lifeless body face down on the road, Mike Brown’s blood literally flowed down Canfield Drive for more than four hours. The shooting and the aftermath that evening, which included bringing police dogs to the scene, infuriated residents as never before, and the anger was spreading rapidly across St. Louis and into the nation.
When Chief Belmar sat down the next day to brief the press on his summary of the facts, he stated at 1:13 (and then even more emphatically at 6:01) in the video below, "The entire scene, from approximately the car door (of Officer Wilson) to the shooting, is, uh, about 35 feet."
See his video below.
It turns, out, though, that the distance Mike Brown fled was not 35 feet, as was stated in the press conference and cited in hundreds of articles since. Nor was it 45 feet, or 75 feet, or even 95 feet, but approximately 108 feet away from Darren Wilson’s SUV. Below, you will find photos from the day of the murder, maps, infographics, and more to confirm for you that the distance was nearly 300 percent farther away than originally claimed by Chief Belmar and subsequently quoted as fact in almost every narrative of the case.
While the initial reporting of this distance from the chief could have been an error, albeit an egregious one, it seems clear now, after over 100 days of requests for the police to clarify this discrepancy have only produced silence, that it wasn’t an oversight, but a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts.
What reason would the chief have for so seriously understating the distance by more than 70 feet? Well, how far Mike Brown fled matters greatly, and the St. Louis County Police Department could have many reasons for purposely understating it. One doubts, though, that they expected to be caught telling this lie. When it was first told, while matters were tense in St. Louis and spreading on social media, nobody had any idea that this case would grip the nation and the world.
Without even using this space to dive into the actual shooting of Mike Brown, it appears that some base level misconduct can be suspected when the St. Louis County Police Department has repeatedly refused to address the discrepancy in distance.
When the police came out the morning after Mike Brown was killed and deliberately included the distance between the SUV and the shooting, it successfully created a very particular narrative. The arc of their initial story, magnified in importance by the absence of even one official report, is that Darren Wilson shot and killed a young man who, in a short distance from the SUV, posed him grave harm. How far Mike Brown actually fled, how far Darren Wilson chased him, and where each of them were in relation to each other and to the SUV, are facts of paramount importance. If Mike Brown fled over 100 feet away from Darren Wilson, it clearly suggests it Brown—unarmed, shot, missing a shoe, in lounge clothes—feared for his life and not the other way around.
Furthermore, police, in many cases, use the distance in which a suspect flees and the distance between them in an encounter, as evidence to prove they were reasonably afraid for their safety—which is required by law.
What follows is evidence to the contrary. Mike Brown fled at least 108 feet away from Darren Wilson's SUV. If the police will lie about this fact, what else have they openly lied about? Did they present this false distance to the grand jury? Why does the media continue to advance this lie? Here are the facts.
Here is a rarely seen panorama of Canfield Drive moments after Mike Brown was killed. Few images better display that the distance was not a very short 35 feet than this one.
This is Darren Wilson's SUV. Where you see it here is exactly where he parked it to confront Mike Brown and Dorian Johnson for jaywalking. Out of sight in this image, to the left of the driver's side door, is Mike Brown's hat (shown in a later image below). Approximately 16 feet behind the SUV is Mike Brown's black sandal, which came off while he was running. Please notice the fire hydrant to the right of the SUV.
On the center left is Darren Wilson's SUV from the opposite angle. Notice the two orange cones next to the driver's side door. That's Mike Brown's red St. Louis Cardinals hat next to it.
Using this image, let's create starting line A. As effective landmarks, please notice the fire hydrant on the right and the sloping entrance into the apartments.
This is ending line B. Mike Brown is the blurred figure on the ground. That is Darren Wilson, visibly uninjured in every image of him from that day, standing to the right. According to eyewitnesses Dorian Johnson, Tiffany Mitchell, and Piaget Crenshaw, Mike Brown turned around, faced Darren Wilson and his SUV, and put his hands in the air.
Here is an overhead view of Canfield Drive. Notice the location of Darren Wilson's SUV on the left and Mike Brown's body on the right. This distance measurement, which was double checked in person multiple times, is 108 feet.
Using Google Maps, the approximate distance from the front of Darren Wilson's SUV to where Mike Brown was shot before falling down is actually 148 feet.