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Darren Wilson Grand Jury Testimony

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Officer Darren Wilson

Officer Darren Wilson

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The documents from the grand jury which decided not to indict Darren Wilson are readily available, but have been elsewhere presented in a difficult to read, embedded PDF. Here the testimony has been faithfully reformatted by Amy McDaniel and Adam Robinson, who assume responsibility for any mistakes. Stylization or what may appear as typos are true to the original document.
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Michael Brown

Michael Brown

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MS. ALIZADEH: This is Kathi Alizadeh. It is about 3:20 on the 16th of September. We are about to call our final witness, Darren Wilson. And as usual, Sheila and I will be asking him questions and you are free to ask questions either interrupting or wait until the end, however you feel is better for the flow of things. He is here and prepared to answer questions. I would tell you that any conversations that he has had with his attorney, because you heard him talk and we have heard testimony that he has had an attorney during parts of this, anything that he and his attorney have talked about are what we call privileged communications. And so you can’t ask him about what did you tell your attorney or what did your attorney say about that, all right. Any other questions that you think are relevant are fair game, but the communications between anyone and their attorney are privileged and we can’t inquire about that, all right? All right. That being said, I am going to let him walk in and get sworn.

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DARREN WILSON, of lawful age, having been first duly sworn to testify the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth in the case aforesaid, deposes and says in reply to oral interrogatories, propounded as follows, to-wit:

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EXAMINATION

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QUESTION [Q:] (By MS. WHIRLEY) So introduce yourself to the grand jurors, tell us your name and spell your name for the court reporter, please?

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ANSWER [A:] My name is Darren Wilson. D-A-R-R-E-N last name W-I-L-S-O-N.

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Q: Have you appeared before this grand jury before?

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A: No, I have not.

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Q: So you’ve never, nobody is familiar to you here, correct?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: All right. You are currently on leave or what’s your status right now?

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A: I am on paid administrative leave.

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Q: Now, we have never met before, have we?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: And we did meet right before you came here today, when you came here today and I talked to you and your attorneys?

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A: Correct.

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Q: And you came here voluntarily?

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A: Correct.

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Q: And you were told that if you wanted to consult with your attorneys you could?

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A: Correct.

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Q: Okay. And you want to be here and tell the jurors what happened; is that correct?

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A: That’s correct.

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Q: So August the 9th of 2014, you worked as a police officer for the Ferguson Police Department?

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A: Correct.

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Q: That means you are a certified police officer?

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A: Correct.

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Q: Had you completed all your training and kept up with your continuing education as a certified officer does?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: You have the power of arrest?

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A: Correct.

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Q: In the State of Missouri?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: What’s your height?

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A: 6’4”. Just a shy under 6’4”.

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Q: A little under 6’4”?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And how much do you currently weigh?

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A: 210-ish.

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Q: That’s been your weight for a while?

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A: Yeah, it fluctuates between 205, 212, 213, something like that.

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Q: Of course everybody knows why we’re here, so let’s just get to it.

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A: Okay.

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Q: Let’s talk about your day on August the 9th. What shift did you work?

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A: Day shift.

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Q: And what shift would that be, what hours?

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A: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

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Q: Twelve hour shift?

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A: Correct.

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Q: Had you worked the day before?

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A: Yes, I had.

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Q: Same shift?

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A: Yes.

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Q: You weren’t working like midnights the night before?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: When you started your shift, did anything happen that you consider very eventful? I mean, earlier that day, prior to 10:00 let’s say, 10:00a.m.

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: Had you answered any calls prior to 10:00a.m.?

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A: I don’t recall, I don’t believe so, but I don’t recall, nothing stands out in my memory.

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Q: It was a pretty quiet day initially?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: Now, at some point you had a sick call, a sick baby, I think?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And that would have been ll-ish or so?

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A: I think it was around ll:30-ish, somewhere in that vicinity.

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Q: That was near the Canfield Green Apartments?

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A: Yes, ma’am, it was actually past them in the adjoining apartment complex.

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Q: And what do they call those apartments?

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A: I believe that apartment is called Northwinds.

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Q: Northwinds. Okay. And it is like east of the Canfield Green, behind those apartments?

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A: Correct.

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Q: When you went on that call, did you have assistance?

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A: No, I did not.

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Q: All right.

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A: Not police assistance.

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Q: No police assistance?

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A: No.

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Q: You handled that call by yourself?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And did you have any confrontation with anybody or was everything, was it a pretty as a matter of fact call?

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A: It was a pretty laid-back call. It was for a sick infant, I believe, only a couple months old.

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Q: Okay.

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A: I believe she had a fever, I’m not 100 percent sure.

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Q: Let me ask this question, can everybody hear him? Speak up. I usually stand in the back of the room so we can have a conversation. As you can tell, my voice really carries, so try to, you know, speak up so everybody can hear you.

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A: Okay.

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Q: So the baby was an infant?

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A: Correct.

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Q: Was the baby not breathing, what was the call, do you recall?

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A: I believe it was for a fever.

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Q: Fever you said, I’m sorry. _____ Ambulance arrived?

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A: Yes, ambulance arrived at the same time I arrived.

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Q: Okay. Baby went to the hospital with its mother?

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A: The mother and baby were transported.

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Q: After that, what did you do?

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A: I returned to my vehicle and then started to leave the apartment complex.

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Q: Okay. Did you get any other calls between the time of the sick baby call and your interaction with Michael Brown and Dorian Johnson?

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A: While on the sick case call, a call came out for a stealing in progress from the local market on West Florissant, that the suspects traveling towards QT. I didn’t hear the entire call, I was on my portable radio, which isn’t exactly the best. I did hear that a suspect was wearing a black shirt and that a box of Cigarillos was stolen.

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Q: Okay. And was this your call or you just heard the call?

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A: It was not my call, I heard the call.

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Q: Some other officers were dispatched to that call?

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A: I believe two others were.

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Q: Was it a call that you were going to go to also?

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A: No.

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Q: So you weren’t really geared to handle that call?

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A: No.

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Q: Tell us how you were dressed that day on August the 9th?

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A: How I was dressed?

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Q: Yes.

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A: I was wearing my full department uniform, light duty boots, dark navy blue pants, my issue duty belt, with my uniform shirt and that was it.

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Q: All right. And so when you say, when you are in uniform, you were not a detective?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: You weren’t dressed the way you are dressed here today?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: So your uniform is like a uniform police officer and when you are walking around I can clearly see oh, that’s a police officer?

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A: Yes, ma’am, I believe it is french blue uniform shirt, had patches for Ferguson on both sides, badge, name tag.

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Q: Okay. And you were in what type of vehicle?

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A: Chevy Tahoe police vehicle fully marked with a light bar.

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Q: Fully marked, okay. Tell us, you were mentioning your radio or what is this you spoke about?

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A: Walkie is what we normally call it.

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Q: I’m sorry?

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A: Our walkie is what we normally call it.

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Q: Like a walkie-talkie or something?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And it did work that day?

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A: Yes.

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Q: Okay. And it was on which shoulder?

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A: I wear it on my left shoulder.

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Q: Are you left or right-handed?

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A: I’m right-handed.

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Q: Okay. Tell us what else is on your duty belt?

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A: I have my, I’ll go in order. Magazine pouches sit right here, my weapon is on my right hip, I have an asp that sits kind of behind me and kind of to the right and then a set of handcuffs, another set of handcuffs, my OC spray or mace is on this side and then my radio and that’s it.

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Q: Okay. So your mace is on your left side and your gun is on your right side?

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A: Correct.

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Q: What type of weapon did you carry?

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A: I carry Sig Sauer, a P229 .40 caliber.

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Q: How many cartridges or bullets would it hold

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A: It has 12 in the magazine and one goes in the chamber, so a total of 13.

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Q: You had a couple spare magazines on your belt?

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A: Correct.

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Q: That had 12 each?

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A: Correct.

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Q: Did you carry a taser?

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A: No.

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Q: Why not?

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A: I normally don’t carry a taser. We only have a select amount. Usually there is one available, but I usually elect not to carry one. It is not the most comfortable thing. They are very large, I don’t have a lot of room in the front for it to be positioned.

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Q: Had you been trained on how to use a taser?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: Have you ever used a taser before?

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A: I believe I have, but it wasn’t one that I carried. It was one that I used from someone else on a scene. I can’t remember the time or where I used it.

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Q: You prefer not to have a taser?

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A: Correct.

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Q: So that day you had mace, you said, on your left side?

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A: Correct.

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Q: All right. You are coming west, is it on Canfield Drive?

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A: Yes, I started out on Glenark and then I turn onto Bahama and then onto Glen Owen, and then I turned on Windward, which actually turns into Canfield Green and that’s where I was going west on that.

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Q: West on Canfield Drive?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: Okay. We are going to get a map here shortly so you can kind of map it out for us. So as you are going west on Canfield Drive, what happens?

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A: As I was going west on Canfield, I observed two men in the middle of the street, they are walking along the double yellow line single file order.

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Q: Okay. And you say something to them, did they say something to you first?

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A: No, you want me to just go with the whole thing?

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Q: Sure, go ahead, let’s start there.

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A: I see them walking down the middle of the street. And first thing that struck me was they’re walking in the middle of the street. I had already seen a couple cars trying to pass, but they couldn’t have traffic normal because they were in the middle, so one had to stop to let the car go around and then another car would come. And the next thing I noticed was the size of the individuals because either the first one was really small or the second one was really big. And just for the conversation, I didn’t know this then, but the first one’s name was Dorian Johnson, the second one was Michael Brown. That was discovered, I think, the following day is when I learned the names. I had never seen them before. And then the next thing I notice was that Brown had bright yellow socks on that had green marijuana leaves as a pattern on them. They were the taller socks that go halfway up your shin. As I approached them, I stopped a couple feet in front of Johnson as they are walking towards me, I am going towards them. And I allowed him to keep walking towards my window, which was down. As Johnson came around my driver’s side mirror I said, “why don’t you guys walk on the sidewalk.” He kept walking, as he is walking he said, “we are almost to our destination.”

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Q: Do you think he used those words destination, we are almost to our destination?

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A: Yes, ma’am. He said we are almost to our destination and he pointed this direction over my vehicle. So like in a northeasternly (sic) direction. And as he did that, he kept walking and Brown was starting to come around the mirror and as he came around the mirror I said, “well, what’s wrong with the sidewalk.” Brown then replied, um, it has vulgar language—

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Q: You can say it, say it.

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A: Brown then replied, “fuck what you have to say.” And when he said that, it drew my attention totally to Brown. It was a very unusual and not expected response from a simple request. When I start looking at Brown, first thing I notice is in his right hand, his hand is full of Cigarillos. And that’s when it clicked for me because I now saw the Cigarillos, I looked in my mirror, I did a doublecheck that Johnson was wearing a black shirt, these are the two from the stealing. And they kept walking, as I said, they never once stopped, never got on the sidewalk, they stayed in the middle of the road. So I got on my radio and Frank 21 is my call sign that day, I said Frank 21 I’m on Canfield with two, send me another car. I then placed my car in reverse and backed up and I backed up just past them and then angled my vehicle, the back of my vehicle to kind of cut them off kind to keep them somewhat contained. As I did that, I go to open the door and I say, hey, come here for a minute to Brown. As I’m opening the door he turns, faces me, looks at me and says, “what the fuck are you going to do about it”, and shuts my door, slammed it shut. I haven’t even got it open enough to get my leg out, it was only a few inches. I then looked at him and told him to get back and he was just staring at me, almost like to intimidate me or to overpower me. The intense face he had was just not what I expected from any of this. I then opened my door again and used my door to push him backwards, and while I’m doing that I tell him to, “get the fuck back”, and then I use my door to push him.

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Q: You tell him to, “get the fuck back”?

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A: Yes.

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Q: Okay.

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A: He then grabs my door again and shuts my door. At that time is when I saw him coming into my vehicle. His head was higher than the top of my car. And I see him ducking and as he is ducking, his hands are up and he is coming in my vehicle. I had shielded myself in this type of manner and kind of looked away, so I don’t remember seeing him come at me, but I was hit right here in the side of the face with a fist. I don’t think it was a full-on swing, I think it was a full-on swing, but not a full shot. I think my arm deflected some of it, but there was still a significant amount of contact that was made to my face.

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Q: Now, he was hitting you with what hand?

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A: I believe it was his right, just judging by how we were situated.

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Q: Right.

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A: But like I said, I had turned away, had my eyes, I was shielding myself.

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Q: Where did you see the Cigarillos at?

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A: They were in his right hand.

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Q: Okay. Were there any broken Cigarillos or anything in your car later?

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A: No, I don’t remember seeing anything on the ground or anything.

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Q: Okay.

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A: After he hit me then, it stopped for a second. He kind of like, I remember getting hit and he kind of like grabbed and pulled, and then it stopped. When I looked up, if this is my car door, I’m sitting here facing that way, he’s here. He turns like this and now the Cigarillos I see in his left hand. He’s going like this and he says, “hey man, hold these.”

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Q: So you start out with Cigarillos in his right hand?

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A: Correct.

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Q: At this point they are in his left hand?

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A: Correct.

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Q: He didn’t have like two hands of Cigarillos?

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A: No, I only saw them in one hand.

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Q: You only saw them in one, okay, go ahead.

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A: And he reaches back and he says, “hey man, hold these.” I’m assuming to Johnson, but I couldn’t see Johnson from my line of sight.

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Q: But you could tell he was giving Johnson Cigarillos?

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A: Yes, I saw them in his hand go around.

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Q: All right.

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A: And he said, “hey man, hold these.” And at that point I tried to hold his right arm because it was like this at my car. This is my car window. I tried to hold his right arm and use my left hand to get out to have some type of control and not be trapped in my car any more. And when I grabbed him, the only way I can describe it is I felt like a five-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan.

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Q: Holding onto a what?

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A: Hulk Hogan, that’s just how big he felt and how small I felt just from grasping his arm. And as I’m trying to open the door is when, and I can’t really get it open because he is standing only maybe 6 inches from my door, but as I was trying to pull the handle, I see his hand coming back around like this and he hit me with this part of his right here, just a full swing all the way back around and hit me right here. (indicating) After he did that, next thing I remember is how do I get this guy away from me. What do I do not to get beaten inside my car. I remember having my hands up and I thought to myself, you know, what do I do. I considered using my mace, however, I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my left hand, which is blocking my face to go for it. I couldn’t reach around on my right to get it and if I would have gotten it out, the chances of it being effective were slim to none. His hands were in front of his face, it would have blocked the mace from hitting him in the face and if any of that got on me, I know what it does to me and I would have been out of the game. I wear contacts, if that touches any part of my eyes, then I can’t see at all. Like I said, I don’t carry a taser, I considered my asp, but to get that out since I kind of sit on it, I usually have to lean forward and pull myself forward to the steering wheel to get it out. Again, I wasn’t willing to let go of the one defense I had against being hit. The whole time, I can’t tell you if he was swinging at me or grabbing me or pushing me or what, but there was just stuff going on and I was looking down figuring out what to do. Also, when I was grabbing my asp, I knew if I did even get it out, I’m not going to be able to expand it inside the car or am I going to be able to make a swing that will be effective in any manner. Next I considered my flashlight. I keep that on the passenger side of the car. I wasn’t going to, again, reach over like this to grab it and then even if I did grab it, would it even be effective. We are so close and confined. So the only other option I thought I had was my gun. I drew my gun, I turned. It is kind of hard to describe it, I turn and I go like this. He is standing here. I said, “get back or I’m going to shoot you.” He immediately grabs my gun and says, “you are too much of a pussy to shoot me.” The way he grabbed it, do you have a picture?

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Q: I do have some pictures of your gun. Well, you can tell us if it is your gun, I believe it is.

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A: My gun was basically pointed this way. I’m in my car, he’s here, it is pointed this way, but he grabs it with his right hand, not his left, he grabs with his right one and he twists it and then he digs it down into my hip. (indicating)

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MS. WHIRLEY: Kathi, can you do the computer? I’m going to let you see these photos from Grand Jury Exhibit Number 10, and there’s some numbers on the back of these photos just so we can keep track of what you are looking at. And I’m going to announce what they are and then I will let you tell us a little bit about them, okay?

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A: All right.

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Q: Let me just get my glasses. These are Grand Jury Exhibit Number 10, but the photo that I’m showing you is 60, 66, 63, so they’re not in order and then 69, so if you could look at all of those photos. And tell me if that represents what you know to be your weapon and your ammunition?

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A: Yes, it does

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Q: Let me see if we can get this, let me try to get this started. We’ll talk a little bit about while we’re working on that. So those are photos of your weapons; is that correct?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And would those photos help you to sort of explain or to explain to the grand jurors what took place regarding the struggle with your weapon that you were trying to describe to us?

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A: I think this would be the most helpful.

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Q: Okay. And we are going to put it on the projector as soon as we can and have you, you know, tell us what’s going on. I have a few other questions while we are waiting on that. So during the time that he’s, you said Michael Brown is striking you in the face through the car door?

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A: Right.

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Q: And it was your opinion that you needed to pull out your weapon because why did you feel that way, I don’t want to put words in your mouth?

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A: I felt that another one of those punches in my face could knock me out or worse. I mean it was, he’s obviously bigger than I was and stronger and the, I’ve already taken two to the face and I didn’t think I would, the third one could be fatal if he hit me right.

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Q: You thought he could hit you and it would be a fatal injury?

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A: Or at least unconscious and then who knows what would happen to me after that.

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Q: There you go, thank you, Kathi. You had not ever met Michael Brown or Dorian Johnson before this date?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: Never had any interaction with them at all?

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A: No, ma’am.

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Q: Okay. So this is Number 60. Why don’t you come over here, Darren Wilson, and kind of tell us.

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A: If you picture that—

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Q: You can do it from there?

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A: I can probably show with my hands.

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Q: You want to use this to kind of?

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A: No, I’ll just do it with my hands. If that’s pointed at me, I’m holding that like this. So it is pointed at, I would be Brown, he grabbed with his hand over the top like this manner and then twisted it down like this. And when it twisted, it ended up being like this in my hip. That’s all I needed that for. (indicating)

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Q: That’s all you needed?

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A: Yeah, just so I can show them how it twisted and went down into my hip.

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Q: Okay. Since we have the projector up, let’s look at some of the photographs because you did go to the doctor or to the hospital; is that right?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And you mentioned being struck in the face before you pulled your weapon?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: So let’s just look at those before we move on since we are here. These are also from State’s Exhibit Number, Grand Jury Exhibit Number 10. If you could look at these photos, you do know those to be you, correct?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: All right. So you give me that one, I guess I’m going to let Kathi maybe help me here. This is photo number six. And that’s you?

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A: Correct.

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Q: Is that you at the hospital on August the 9th?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: And why did you go to the hospital?

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A: For my face being swollen.

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Q: Was there any other injuries that you had other than your face?

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A: They had discovered there that I had scratches on the back of my neck.

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Q: Okay. Anything else, tell us about your injuries?

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A: I had a swollen right cheek, my left they said was swollen, I had scratches around my hairline in the back and I think on the side of my neck, but that’s all that I remember.

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Q: Any injuries to your hand?

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A: No.

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Q: Okay, let’s see. Show me which one of those photos duplicates the injury to your face?

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A: That one you can see the right side of my face swollen pretty good.

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Q: Okay. And this is Number 12?

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A: That one looks like it has bruising and swelling on it.

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Q: Where is the swelling to your face on that one?

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A: It was on my right side, that was the main injury.

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Q: Point to it for us?

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MS. ALIZADEH: Here, if you want to use the laser pointer, hopefully it will work.

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A: Right in this area. (indicating)

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Q: (By Ms. Whirley) That’s the swelling to your face?

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A: Yes, ma’am.

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Q: Okay. And this is Number 30 and you said this depicts the swelling too?

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A: I think it shows the bruising on the side of my face.

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Q: The bruising on the side of your face. And kind of show us where you see the bruising?

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A: This area right here. (indicating)

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MS. WHIRLEY: Yes. Can we pass those around?

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MS. ALTZADEH: I’m going to, yeah, I’m going to.

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A: That was kind of the same.

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Q: (By Ms. Whirley) Okay. This is number 24?

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MS. ALTZADEH: Wait a minute, there is two.

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MS. WHIRLEY: 24 is what I’m trying to look at.

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MS. ALIZADEH: This is 27.

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MS. WHIRLEY: This is 24. Now, what are we looking at there?

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A: That’s the left side of my face.

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Q: (By Ms. Whirley) So you had, describe what we are looking at?

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A: I can’t really tell from that.

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Q: Okay.

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A: I can’t see from this angle.

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Q: Let me let you look at it again.

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A: I think there was swelling to my face in that area too. I never saw my face after, this is the first I’ve seen.

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Q: Does it look like swelling? You know your face better than we do, does that look like swelling?

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A: I can’t tell with that angle with the ruler.

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Q: You can’t tell on that one? What about this one?

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A: That one I can tell from down by my, down in this area looks swollen to me.

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Q: Okay. And this is Number 27. Were there 21 any other photos that you think kind of show your injuries?

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A: This one you can see the scratches in that area.

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Q: Okay.

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A: Here is a close-up of it.

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Q: This is Number 33 and you say you can see scratches on the back of your neck?

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A: Right in here. (indicating)

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Q: Okay.

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A: This is just showing the red marks on my face on this one, on my neck on that one.

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Q: Okay. This is Number 54. And you can kind of point to where the red marks are on your neck?

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A: It is hard to see on that. It is in this area right there. (indicating)

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Q: Okay.

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A: Most of those are the same.

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Q: Okay. Any more of those you want us to see?

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A: It is hard to tell from the pictures and that angle. I think the best one was looking straight forward at me.

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Q: Okay. And they’ve already got those. All right, thank you. All right. So you suffered the injury to your face and you showed us where the gun was grabbed and at the time when there is a struggle for the gun, take us from there.

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A: He grabs my gun, says, “you are too much of a pussy to shoot me.” The gun goes down into my hip and at that point I thought I was getting shot. I can feel his fingers try to get inside the trigger guard with my finger and I remember envisioning a bullet going into my leg. I thought that was the next step.

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Q: I’m going to stand back so you can talk a little louder.

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A: As I’m looking at it, I’m not paying attention to him, all I can focus on is just this gun in my leg. I was able to kind of shift like this and then push it down, because he is pushing down like to keep it pinned on my leg. So when I slid, I let him use his momentum to push it down and it was kind of pointed to where the seat buckle would attach on the floorboard on the side of my car. Next thing I remember putting my left hand on it like this, putting my elbow into the back of my seat and just pushing with all I could forward.

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Q: Were you saying anything?

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A: I don’t know.

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Q: You don’t know if he was saying either?

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A: I heard stuff, but I couldn’t tell you what it was.

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Q: Okay.

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A: Like I said, I was just so focused on getting the gun out of me. When this point, he is still holding onto it and I pulled the trigger and nothing happens, it just clicked. I pull it again, it just clicked again. At this point I’m like why isn’t this working, this guy is going to kill me if he gets ahold of this gun. I pulled it a third time, it goes off. When it went off, it shot through my door panel and my window was down and glass flew out of my door panel. I think that kind of startled him and me at the same time. When I see the glass come up, it comes, a chunk about that big comes across my right hand and then I notice I have blood on the back of my hand. After seeing the blood on my hand, I looked at him and he was, this is my car door, he was here and he kind of stepped back and went like this. And then after he did that, he looked up at me and had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked. He comes back towards me again with his hands up. At that point I just went like this, I tried to pull the trigger again, click, nothing happened.

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