Dorian Johnson, Witness in Michael Brown Shooting, Allegedly Changed His Initial Story; While Radio Station Backs Off its Claims

A St. Louis radio station has changed its story about Dorian Johnson, a key witness in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

Johnson was one of the original witnesses in the Brown case, along with Tiffany Michell and Piaget Crenshaw.

Johnson, 22, was walking with Brown when he was shot several weeks ago, telling reporters that Brown was “shot like an animal” and saying that Brown had been running away with his hands up.

His account of what happened helped spur the focus on Brown allegedly having his hands up as he ran away from the police, a big part of the nationwide protests in the wake of Brown’s death.

Johnson’s claims came under additional scrutiny after a medical examiner’s report said that the six bullets that hit Brown all hit him from the front, as opposed to the back.

100.7 The Viper reported on August 20 that “a very connected national media source” told it that Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will be cleared in the shooting of Brown.

“The key: Dorian Johnson has now admitted that Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson and attempted to take his gun. OFFICER WILSON WILL NOT BE CHARGED!” it said. “This is scary. When this news is made official, we all have reason to be concerned about the reaction.”

But the station has edited its Facebook post to now state the following: “It has been reported on social media that there is a likelihood that Ferguson officer Darren Wilson will not be charged in the shooting of Michael Brown. A key witness has now admitted that Michael Brown attacked Officer Wilson and attempted to take his gun. This is scary…. IF this news is made official, we all have reason to be concerned about the reaction.”

original

The original Facebook post. (Facebook)

edited

The edited Facebook post. (Facebook)

Notice the large change from citing its own source to using “social media” as the source.

One follower asked the station whether it was lying about what it reported. “We aren’t allowed to comment publically yet we stand by our report,” the station said.

Johnson has come under criticism as the medical examiner’s report seemed to show a different story from what he said happened.

Also, Darren Wilson reportedly says that he was attacked by Brown before he killed the teenager, and suffered an eye injury in the process.

Christine Byers, a crime reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reported: “Police sources tell me more than a dozen witnesses have corroborated cop’s version of events in shooting.”

See Johnson’s original version below, as well as the account from police chief Jon Belmar, below the photos, via the Post-Dispatch.

In this photo taken with a long exposure, protesters march in the street as lightning flashes in the distance in Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. On Aug. 9, a white police officer fatally shot unarmed Michael Brown, a black 18-year-old, in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Spiritual teacher Iyanla Vanzant, right, consoles Shirley Scale, a resident at the Canfield Apartments, at the shrine to Michael Brown where he was shot and killed on Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Vanzant, from the “Fix My Life” t.v. show was visiting to bless the site and give support to the community. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks with Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol at Drake’s Place Restaurant, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Holder arrived in Missouri on Wednesday, a small group of protesters gathered outside the building where a grand jury could begin hearing evidence to determine whether a Ferguson police officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown should be charged in his death. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)

Meanwhile, news has emerged that Johnson is wanted in Jefferson City on a charge from several years ago.

ABC 17 reported that Johnson is wanted on a warrant for stealing in 2011, and that he was charged with filing a false police report that same year.

Johnson’s Version

“Me and my friend was walking down the street in the middle of the street. And we wasn’t causing any harm to nobody. We had no weapons on us at all. … A police officer squad car pulled up and when he pulled up these were his exact words: ‘Get the F on the sidewalk.’ … He reversed his … car in a manner to where it almost hit us. … He tried to brush his door open but he was so close to us that it ricocheted off us and it bounced back to him, and I guess that, you know, got him a little upset. And at that time … he didn’t get out the car, he just reached his arm out the window and grabbed my friend around his neck and … as he was trying to choke my friend, he was trying to get away, and the officer then reached out and he grabbed his arm to pull him into the car. …

“His weapon was drawn and he said, ‘I’ll shoot you’ or ‘I’m going to shoot,’ and in the same moment the first shot went off. And we looked at him, he was shot, and there was blood coming from him, and we took off running, and as we took off running, I ducked and hid for my life because I was afraid for my life … . My friend kept running and he told me to keep running because he feared for me, too. So, as he was running, the officer was trying to get out of the car and once he got out the car he pursued my friend, but his weapon was drawn. Now, he didn’t see any weapon drawn at him or anything like that. I was going for no weapon. His weapon was already drawn when he got out the car. He shot again and once my friend felt that shot, he turned around and put his hands in the air and he started to get down but the officer still approached with his weapon drawn and he fired several more shots, and my friend died. He didn’t say anything to him, he just stood over and was shooting.”

Belmar’s Version

“Yesterday about noon in the 2900 block of Canfield, a Ferguson police officer had an encounter with two individuals on the street. In fact, one of those individuals … allegedly pushed the police officer back into the car where he physically assaulted the police officer. It is our understanding at this point in the investigation that within the police car there was a struggle over the officer’s weapon.

“There was at least one shot fired within the car. After that the officer went back, came back out of the car, he exited his vehicle, and there was a shooting that occurred where the officer in fact shot the subject, and … they were fatal injuries. The entire scene from approximately the car door to the shooting is about 35 feet. There were shell casings recovered, the shell casings are all matched to one weapon, that’s the officer’s weapon. There were more than a few shell casings recovered. I cannot say at this time how many times the subject was struck by gunfire. It’s hard to know, it was more than just a couple but I don’t think it was many more than that.”

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber
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