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Witness to Michael Brown Shooting Arrested in St. Louis

The arrest on a misdemeanor interfering charge took place a week after Dorian Johnson, who was with Michael Brown when he was shot, sued Ferguson.
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The man who was famously with Michael Brown when he was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer was arrested in St. Louis Wednesday, police said.

Dorian Johnson, 23, was arrested in St. Louis shortly before 3:30 p.m. after allegedly interfering with the arrest of his brother, Demonte Johnson, 21, as officers tried to disperse a crowd on Acme Avenue, police said.

Police said a caller reported someone in the group may be armed, and that Demonte grabbed an officer’s arm as he tried to pat down a 17-year-old who “appeared to have a bulge in his clothing. Dorian was arrested after he approached the officer and began yelling at the officer as Demonte was being arrested for interfering, police said in an incident report.

Police said in the report that Dorian Johnson approached officers and said they couldn’t arrest any of them, and the officer said "I had to physically struggle with Dorian Johnson" before taking him to the ground and handcuffing him, according to court documents.

Dorian Johnson is charged with interfering with an arrest, a misdemeanor. Demonte Johnson is charged with resisting arrest and third-degree assault on a police officer, both misdemeanors. Requests for comment from Dorian Johnson’s attorneys were not immediately returned Thursday.

Dorian Johnson last week filed a lawsuit against the city of Ferguson as well as its former police chief, Thomas Jackson, and the officer who shot Brown, Darren Wilson. The suit, filed April 29, alleges that he was wrongly stopped and fired on during the encounter on a city street.

Brown, 18, was fatally wounded by Wilson in the confrontation, while Johnson escaped uninjured and became a primary witness. Riots and looting followed the killing, and reignited after a grand jury declined to charge Wilson with a crime. Johnson said Brown was "shot like an animal" and that Wilson started the confrontation by yelling at the pair to “get the f--- on the sidewalk” and then grabbing Brown through the window of his police car.

A federal investigation also found no evidence that Wilson acted illegally. But the U.S. Department of Justice did find there was a pattern of racially-biased policing in Ferguson, and its report led to the resignations of several city officials, including Jackson. Wilson also resigned from the police department.

Brown's parents are also pursuing a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Wilson and Jackson.


— Phil Helsel