Go See This

Most infographics don’t add that much. But this one is very helpful in understanding some broad outlines about the Wilson grand jury. PBS Newshour has gone through the transcripts and created a straightforward chart showing what each witness said on several key questions. Were Brown’s hands up? Was he charging Wilson? Was he running away when fired upon?

It’s important to note that not all witnesses are equal. Some were further, some closer, etc. But a couple things become immediately clear: one is that there was no ‘what the eyewitnesses said’. There was a lot of disagreement over just what happened.

I’ve heard a lot of Wilson supporters saying today that ‘the witnesses’ backed up Wilson’s account. That’s clearly not the case if we’re talking about all or even a majority of those who testified. If anything more seemed to have backed key elements of the Brown supporters’ narrative. According to the chart, 6 said Brown charged at Wilson or Wilson’s car. On the other hand, 13 said that Brown put his hands up when Wilson fired on him.

It’s difficult to pin things down with much specificity because most witnesses either weren’t asked or didn’t answer most of the questions. Each side of the story, awkward a way as that may be to put it, had witnesses who back key elements of their version of events.