In a flurry of conflicting reports over the past few weeks, what actually took place during the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, is still unclear. But one piece of audio, if proven to be authentic, might provide another valuable clue.
A man who lives near the scene where Michael Brown was fatally shot in Ferguson, Missouri, has come forward with what he says is audio of the shooting, which was inadvertently caught on tape while he was video chatting with a friend.
The man, whose name has been withheld, has been questioned by the FBI and is represented by a lawyer. CNN could not verify the recording, and has reached out to forensic experts to examine the audio, one of whom says they hear “at least 10 gunshots — a cluster of six, followed by four.”
That break in rounds could provide insight into the shooting.
“I was very concerned about that pause … because it’s not just the number of gunshots, it’s how they’re fired,” the man’s attorney, Lopa Blumenthal, told CNN’s Don Lemon. “And that has a huge relevance on how this case might finally end up.”
Whether the pause adds credence to the officer’s version of events, or to differing accounts, remains to be seen. The final four rounds may reasonably have only been fired if the first six rounds weren’t perceived by the police officer to be sufficient to halt the threat.
“To be fair, there could be other explanations for that pause,” said attorney Van Jones, co-host of CNN’s Crossfire. “Maybe the officer will say, ‘Well I fired, and he kept advancing, so I fired again.”
Until the audio can be completely verified, public and media speculation must be tempered so that experts can find the truth that so many across the country are looking for. But the same media that blasted the police department for releasing authentic surveillance video of a crime committed before the incident cannot at the same time release unproven audio to the public with legitimate complaint.
Photo credit: AP/Charlie Riedel