Witness #40

I’ve been reading through the Ferguson grand jury doc dump released by Mr. McCullough; the documents are housed at the St. Louis public radio station here. The oddest thing I’ve seen so far is the account of Witness #40, who just happened to set out on a journey of racial self-discovery on the very morning of August 9, 2014, the day Mike Brown was killed.

By a series of amazing coincidences, this person magically ended up witnessing events, and his or her perspective aligned perfectly with Officer Wilson’s account. Witness #40’s testimony comes in the form of handwritten journal entries, which you can view for yourself here. Here’s how it starts:

Well I’m gonna take my random drive to Florissant. Need to understand the Black race better so I stop calling Blacks Niggers and start calling them People. Like dad always said you cant fear or hate an entire race cause of what one man did 40 yrs ago.

The “journal” goes on to recount how Witness #40 takes a series of wrong turns and coincidentally turns up at the scene of the Brown shooting moments before it happens and sees the whole thing unfold. His or her account includes the following:

The cop just stood there dang if that kid didnt start running right at the cop like a football player. Head down.

The story is helpfully populated with “sweet” and “nice” local people whose wonderful qualities Witness #40 notes in the journal, qualities a racist who was attempting to create a post-hoc justification for a widely publicized police shooting would totally NOT appreciate, let alone record in a personal diary that later inexplicably found its way into evidence files. (wink-wink-nudge-nudge)

The diary entry for that day concludes with a 9 PM post-script in which the author recalls being admonished to “keep my mouth shut” and notes that “no one will believe me anyway.” Sadly, he or she is probably wrong on that last point.

I haven’t read the entire doc dump, but no other files are labeled “Witness #40,” so it’s unclear if this person was deposed or interviewed. Have y’all seen anything else about this alleged witness? This “journal” story sounds for all the world like a fairy tale concocted by Jim Hoft or some other sub-sentient asshole with an ax to grind who lacks the wit to construct a plausible lie.

Can it be that it was submitted for grand jury perusal without an accompanying investigation into its veracity? Some of y’all will say OF COURSE since it backs the cop’s account, but let me clarify my bewilderment: I’m not doubting the lengths to which officials and random yahoos will go to cover up police malfeasance; I’m just astonished at the rank amateurism of this effort. Funny how McCullough didn’t allude to the unreliability of that witness during last night’s soliloquy…

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