In the immediate aftermath of the Brown shooting, grand jury documents show, witness intimidation and lying became the order of the day. Witness after witness told police that local thugs were intimidating those who had seen the events.
One witness told police, according to the St. Louis Police Investigative Report, that threats “had been made to the residents of Canfield Green Apartment Complex.” This witness said that “notes had been posted on various apartment buildings threatening people not to talk to the police, and gunshots were still being fired every night.”
The witness wasn’t alone. Other witnesses stated that supposed witnesses were lying to the media about events, that others who had seen the events were “embellishing their stories” in order to convict Wilson.
One witness stated, “You have to understand the mentality of some of these young guys they have nothing to do. When they can latch on the something they embellish it because they want something to do.”
Some 16 witnesses testified that Brown’s hands were up when he was shot, which was factually false according to the autopsy. Another 12 witnesses said that Wilson shot Brown from behind — again, false according to the autopsy. One witness testified that Wilson used both a Taser and a gun — false. Another said that Brown had kneeled before Wilson shot him. When confronted with the fact that the physical evidence made such an account impossible, the witness acknowledged he hadn’t seen the event, and then asked if he could leave the grand jury because he was “uncomfortable.”