The Washington Post

Darren Wilson had an eye bone fracture after scuffle with Michael Brown, family friend says

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The officer who fatally shot an unarmed Ferguson youth suffered a fracture to his eye bone in a scuffle with Michael Brown, according to a family friend.

The hospital X-rays of the injury have  been submitted to the St. Louis County prosecuting attorney, and will be shared with a grand jury now weighing evidence to determine if Officer Darren Wilson should be charged in the shooting.

Confirmed details regarding Wilson’s condition after Brown was shot have been scarce. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said last week that Wilson had a “swollen face” after the altercation. He also said Wilson had to be taken to a hospital for treatment, but he did not elaborate on his injuries beyond saying they were not life-threatening.

On Wednesday night, Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III told Fox News that he could not confirm reports that Wilson suffered a fractured eye bone. The office of Robert McCulloch, the St. Louis County special prosecutor, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Thursday.

A day after Brown was shot, St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Bellmar told reporters that Brown “allegedly pushed” Wilson back into the car and physically assaulted him, but he did not elaborate.

The friend of Wilson’s, who has been in contact with some of Wilson’s family members, asked not to be named because of fear of threats.

Wilson, 28, who is now in a secret location and under police protection due to death threats, has told family and friends that he knows he was justified in the Aug. 9 shooting but is “broken hearted” about having to take a life in the line of duty, the friend said Thursday.

In his account to close confidantes, Wilson has repeatedly said he believed Brown was acting erratically when they had an altercation in a garden apartment complex in Ferguson. He said Brown, 18, was coming at him when he fired the fatal shots.

“Darren was adamant that he believed Michael Brown had some drugs in his system,” the friend said.

Full toxicology tests of Brown’s blood has not been completed at this point, the friend said, and the family is awaiting that information. The Washington Post reported on Monday that according to two sources, marijuana was found in Brown’s system according to a toxicology report conducted as part of the St. Louis County autopsy.

This post has been updated.


Carol Leonnig covers federal agencies with a focus on government accountability.

The Freddie Gray case

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