Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown fought for control of the officer's gun, and Wilson fatally shot the unarmed teenager after he moved toward the officer as they faced off in the street, say Washington Post interviews, news accounts and the full report of the St. Louis County autopsy of Brown's body. Because Wilson is white and Brown was black, the case has prompted debate over how police interact with African American men. Still, more than a half-dozen black witnesses have provided testimony to a grand jury that largely supports Wilson's account of events.
Some of the physical evidence, including blood spatter analysis, shell casings and ballistics tests, also supports Wilson's account of the shooting, which casts Brown as an aggressor who threatened the officer's life. The grand jury is expected to complete deliberations next month over whether Wilson broke the law in confronting Brown, and the pending decision appears to be prompting the unofficial release of information about the case and what the jurors have been told. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published Brown’s autopsy report, an analysis of which also suggests that the 18-year-old may not have had his hands raised when he was fatally shot, as has been the contention of protesters who have demanded Wilson's arrest. (The Los Angeles Times reported that the U.S. Department of Justice condemned the leaks about the case as “irresponsible and highly troubling” and said, “There seems to be an inappropriate effort to influence public opinion about this case.”)