Can this story grow any more convoluted?

A couple of days ago Fox News reported that Officer Wilson’s eye socket was fractured in his confrontation with Michael Brown.

Then on Thursday, CNN reported that the Fox News story was wrong and that Wilson’s eye socket was NOT fractured, but he was treated in the hospital for a swollen face.

Well, now the Washington Post has run a piece confirming the Fox News story and throwing the CNN report into doubt. The Washington Post has a source close to the Wilson family who says that the officer did suffer a fractured eye socket, and that his x-rays will be entered as evidence for the grand jury as they make their decision on whether or not to charge Officer Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown.

Here’s what the Washington Post had to say,

The signs of easing tensions came as a family friend of the officer who fatally shot Brown came forward to offer a version of the incident with new details, saying that the officer suffered a fracture to his eye socket in a scuffle with the unarmed teenager before opening fire.

Hospital X-rays of the injury have been taken and will be shared with a grand jury that is weighing evidence to determine whether Officer Darren Wilson should be charged in the shooting, said the friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of fear of threats. The friend has been in contact with Wilson’s family members.

In his account to close confidants, Wilson has repeatedly said he thought Brown was acting erratically when they had an altercation on a street in a garden apartment complex in Ferguson. He said that Brown was coming at him when he fired the fatal shots.

“Darren was adamant that he believed Michael Brown had some drugs in his system,” the friend said.

darrenwilsonAgain, the question is how important is the difference between a broken eye socket and a swollen face? Both indicate that an assailant hit the officer in the face – but does the severity of the injury play to the idea that Officer Wilson felt he was in very real danger?

The New York Times has made an effort to summarize what we know from piecing together the multitude of witness accounts.

Some of the accounts seem to agree on how the fatal altercation initially unfolded: with a struggle between the officer, Darren Wilson, and the teenager, Michael Brown. Officer Wilson was inside his patrol car at the time, while Mr. Brown, who was unarmed, was leaning in through an open window.

Many witnesses also agreed on what happened next: Officer Wilson’s firearm went off inside the car, Mr. Brown ran away, the officer got out of his car and began firing toward Mr. Brown, and then Mr. Brown stopped, turned around and faced the officer.

But on the crucial moments that followed, the accounts differ sharply, officials say. Some witnesses say that Mr. Brown, 18, moved toward Officer Wilson, possibly in a threatening manner, when the officer shot him dead. But others say that Mr. Brown was not moving and may even have had his hands up when he was killed.

At the end of the day, the question before the grand jury will be, is there enough evidence to show that Officer Wilson may have committed a crime? If it gets beyond a grand jury, it becomes much more difficult to prove anything without leaving room for some doubt. How will the state “prove” that Michael Brown wasn’t moving toward the officer? How will the state “prove” that Officer Wilson could not have “reasonably” feared for his live?

With what we know today, I don’t believe that they can prove these things without leaving room for reasonable doubt. Perhaps the DA has something more that we haven’t seen… but it seems like we may know everything that they do, though it may be a bit more jumbled for us.

I wonder if things will get even more convoluted before all of this comes to an end?


Tags: Darren Wilson, Michael Brown, the New York Times, the Washington Post