PBS compiled the following chart in an effort to categorize the testimony of witnesses in the August shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.
— Beth Ponsot (@bponsot) November 29, 2014
While the graphic offers a substantial amount of information, it is perhaps most useful in pointing out the disparate testimony among those who ostensibly all saw the very same incident. In the months since Brown’s shooting by police officer Darren Wilson, protesters have seized upon the anecdotal accounts that the 18-year-old had his hands up in a sign of surrender at the time of his death. While 12 of the 14 witnesses who offered their account of this claim affirmed he had his hands raised, a virtually identical percentage stated that his hands were at his waist.
Similarly incongruous testimony resulted in the fairly basic observation regarding which way Brown was facing at the time of the shooting. While 12 of the 16 applicable witnesses said the suspect was running away from Wilson, an even greater majority recalled him facing the officer.
It is worth noting that autopsy evidence showed Brown was not shot in the back.
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Making matters even muddier is the fact that a new graph, purportedly correcting many of the misleading claims of the original chart, has now begun circulating online.
Among the allegations included in this updated graphic is the assertion that nearly half of those who said Brown’s hands were up in fact testified only that they were partially raised.
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