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Law Enforcement Official: Officer Shot At A Fleeing Michael Brown

Officer Darren Wilson. City of Ferguson, via Associated Press

I am not sure why this nugget of information has not received more attention:

As Officer Wilson got out of his car, the men were running away. The officer fired his weapon but did not hit anyone, according to law enforcement officials.

Given existing legal precedent, an officer cannot use deadly force to stop a fleeing felon who is not perceived to be dangerous (Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985)). Under Garner, in order to use deadly force against a fleeing felon, a police officer must have probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a significant risk of harm to the officer or the community. In light of this revelation, it would seem that Officer Wilson had no legal justification for firing upon the unarmed and fleeing Michael Brown. While none of these shots apparently were responsible for Mr. Brown’s death, the shooting itself would appear to be illegal.


3 comments for “Law Enforcement Official: Officer Shot At A Fleeing Michael Brown”

  • AJG45

    Doesn’t say he fired at Brown, or even that he fired intentionally.

    • Voice of Reason

      The article says he fired his weapon but missed. Not sure how you could fire shots unintentionally at someone fleeing.

      • AJG45

        It didn’t say he fired his weapon and missed.

        It said he fired his weapon but did not hit anyone. It could well be that he fired a warning shot (stupid but still done all too frequently), or it could be that he had a negligent discharge in the course of the adrenalin rush of the events.

        Why are you misrepresenting what the article said.

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