A U.S. Department of Justice official on Wednesday condemned a string of leaks in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, (pictured) who was unarmed when he was shot two months ago by a White police officer in Ferguson, Mo., the Los Angeles Times reports.
Leaks include a report from the New York Times that investigators found Brown’s blood on Wilson’s gun, on the interior door panel of Wilson’s SUV, and on Wilson’s uniform. The Washington Post reported that several Black witnesses have given grand jury testimony that supported Wilson’s account, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch obtained an official copy of the autopsy that reportedly shows a gunshot wound to the teen’s hand that may have been fired at close range.
The leaks to national news outlets came from the official inquiry in to the Aug. 9th shooting by Officer Darren Wilson, which supposedly support the officer’s account of events leading up to the shooting.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
The U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks Wednesday as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”
The details and news reports say that Brown struggled with Wilson in his patrol car and that Wilson’s gun went off in the car before a brief foot chase ensued.
The Los Angeles Times added that the leaks represent a new breach in trust for the community who told the paper also on Wednesday that they were upset with what the continued breakdown in the justice system. Community members cited the ongoing leaks about the grand jury, for example, which continue to appear in the media. The grand jury’s decision is expected in November.
In light of the leaks, a resident said, “There is no way there should be reports from all these anonymous sources and these ‘leaks’ ….This is supposed to play out in the courts and the justice system, and not the media,” said Patricia Bynes, a Ferguson resident and prominent voice in the protest movement. Quoting a popular chant, she added, “The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”
Read more at the Los Angeles Times.