Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hands Up, Don't Shoot

"HANDS UP, DON'T SHOOT": Last week's coverage of the voluminous Ferguson grand-jury testimony cast doubt on whether Michael Brown had his hands up. But the N.Y. Times and WashPost both front stories today suggesting that he may have, if only partly. A key earlier story -- on Wednesday, two days after the announcement - was AP's "Ferguson grand jury papers full of inconsistencies": "An Associated Press review of thousands of pages of grand jury documents reveals numerous examples of statements ... that were inconsistent, fabricated or provably wrong. For one, the autopsies ultimately showed Brown was not struck ... in his back."

Today's stories take a different tack:

--NYT A1, at the fold, "Raised Hands, And the Doubts Of a Grand Jury," by Monica Davey in Ferguson, and Michael Wines, Erik Eckholm and Richard A. Oppel Jr. in New York: "[T]he prosecutors, and sometimes the jurors, often treated Officer Wilson's account as the truth, leaving questions about it unasked. But many witnesses contested all or parts of the account. They said Mr. Brown seemed to be trying to give up and was stumbling toward Officer Wilson, perhaps hobbled by his injuries, before the fatal shots were fired."

--WashPost A1, below fold, "What was Michael Brown doing? Grand jury witnesses split on whether he was charging officer or giving up," by Sandhya Somashekhar and Kimbriell Kelly: "[T]hree of the witnesses ... described Brown's movements as a 'charge.' Another couple said Brown may have been charging but were not sure. Most of the rest saw forward motion but described it as 'steps' or 'walking' or 'stumbling,' with about a half dozen of these witnesses interpreting Brown's actions as an attempt to surrender."

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