Dorian Johnson, the friend of Michael Brown who claims he witnessed the police shooting death of the 18-year-old in Ferguson, Missouri, has an outstanding arrest warrant for theft, according to authorities.
Barbara Schaffer, court clerk for the Municipal Court of Jefferson City, confirmed to WND there is a warrant for Johnson’s arrest for a 2011 incident. Johnson was arrested June 24, 2011, and a trial was set for July 31, 2013, but he did not appear in court, authorities said.
According to the arrest report, obtained by WND, Dorian J. Johnson, 22, was arrested June 24, 2011, by Jefferson City, Missouri, police after a report of a suspect walking away from an apartment with a package that contained a backpack. Police reported Johnson lied to them about his identity.
In an interview with WND, Johnson’s attorney, former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley Jr., acknowledged his client had been arrested in Jefferson City for theft of a parcel.
Bosley insisted the case was “resolved.”
“He was held in jail in St. Louis for 14 days, waiting on Cole County to come get him, based on the warrant,” Bosley said. “They never came, so the city let him go.”
But Schaffer said there is an order for Johnson’s extradition if he is arrested within a 50-mile radius of Jefferson City. Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, is more than 100 miles from Jefferson City.
Bosley also acknowledged Johnson was with Brown at a convenience store shortly before the Aug. 9 shooting in Ferguson, where authorities revealed today they suspect Brown of a “strong-arm” robbery of cigars.
Bosley contends Johnson’s account of the shooting, accusing the officer of killing an unarmed man with no justification, is credible.
“I think that we have been able to tell our story – we have been consistent. People try to twist words, but I think he is still consistent,” he said.
The lawyer said he and Johnson met Monday with the Department of Justice, the county prosecutor and others, “and we told them everything,” including the robbery at the convenience store.
“They knew three days ago about Big Mike and my client and the cigarillos,” Bosley said.
The lawyer explained Johnson is a federal witness “so he cannot be talked to, incited, harassed in any way.”
“But he is scared and very stressed. Everybody is extremely stressed,” Bosley said. “Dorian had to leave his apartment; he has no place to stay now. He has a lady friend, and they have a 4-month-old baby.”
Regarding the convenience store robbery, Bosley said he and Brown were in the store, and Brown handed him a box.
“Dorian told Big Mike, ‘I don’t steal,’ and he put it back on the counter.”
Larceny, false identification
The police report of the 2011 theft for which Johnson was arrested, said the suspect abandoned the box that contained the backpack near a YMCA and then went inside. Police identified Johnson based on surveillance videos and approached him in the facility.
He identified himself as “Derrick” but later was found to be Dorian J. Johnson. He was charged with larceny, with an added count for the false identification.
Officers also reported he falsely claimed he was 16 years old – he was 19 at the time – and hid an ID card in his sock.
Johnson was a student at the time at Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
Ferguson police Friday said they did not suspect Johnson of any criminal offense in connection with the shooting death of Brown.
While police suspect Brown was the robber in the video, they said the officer who shot him, revealed by authorities Friday to be Darren Wilson, apparently was unaware of the theft at the time.
In his account of the shooting, Johnson said in an interview he and Brown were walking down the street when the officer encountered them.
“We wasn’t causing any harm to nobody. We had no weapons on us at all,” he said.
Johnson claimed the police officer pulled up in his squad car and said: “Get the ‘F’ on the sidewalk.”
Johnson alleged the officer, from inside his vehicle, “grabbed my friend around the neck” and “was trying to choke my friend.” He said the officer then tried to pull Brown into the car, and Brown was trying to pull away.
He said the officer then drew his weapon and said, “I’ll shoot you. … In the same moment the first shot went off.”
Johnson said Brown was shot and then stopped, raising his hands, but the officer continued shooting him.
The police report is at odds with Johnson’s story.
According to the report, one of the men pushed the officer into his squad car, assaulted him and struggled to get the officer’s weapon. A shot was fired in the car before the struggle moved to the street, where the officer shot Brown multiple times.
‘War with the neighborhood’
Bosley said he suspects the Brown case will go before a federal grand jury that will decide to charge the officer with murder.
The police response to several nights of looting, rioting and burning in the wake of the shooting, he said, has “terrorized” the people of Ferguson.
“They have been treated like insurgents,” the lawyer said. “They send in riot gear, tear gas, weapons, military vehicles, as if they were going to war with the neighborhood.”
WND asked him how the police should have responded to looting.
“The looting was caused when police officers fired flares in the air, and the people reacted. It was on,” he said.
But Bosley said the shooting has brought unity to the community, and people are acting peacefully.
“If you could have been here last night at the QuikTrip where this whole thing took place; like 5,000 people showed up here at 11, stayed till 5 a.m. Not a shot was fired. It was peaceful,” he said.
“This community is coming together,” said Bosley. “It’s sad it have to take a death to make this happen.”