MRCTV asked protesters at Al Sharpton's "Justice 4 All" rally about the disputed claim that Michael Brown had his hands up prior to being shot.
Since the unrest over the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner has grown, the rallying cry of the outraged protesters has been “Hands up, Don’t Shoot," a reference to the initial eyewitness reports of what Michael Brown said and did in his final moments.
It became the instant narrative of those who believed that Michael Brown had been shot while trying to escape Officer Darren Wilson.
The slogan is incessantly chanted by protesters and signs featuring a silhouette of a man holding his hands in the air in surrender have become commonplace at rallies, including Al Sharpton’s large "Justice 4 All" rally, held in Washington, DC last Saturday.
The problem is, it may not have actually happened that way.
Multiple eyewitnesses who testified before the grand jury in Ferguson claimed that Brown’s hands weren’t up at all and that he was charging Officer Wilson when he was shot. Forensic evidence and multiple autopsies that were conducted concluded a similar pattern of events transpired that run contrary to the protesters' mantra.
Despite the doubt cast on the favored slogan, most of the protesters that MRCTV talked to at the Sharpton rally continued to insist that the original narrative is the correct one.
Citing “various news sources,” Sharpton’s protesters defended the notion that Michael Brown had his hands up and was surrendering when he was shot and killed.
Sharpton’s protesters rejected eyewitness testimony and forensic evidence that Brown did not have his hands up and may have been charging the officer who shot him:
- “No, no, the autopsies don’t have anything to do with that.”
- “That’s not true; I’ve read the whole report, too.”
- “No, he didn’t resist arrest.”
“It’s not necessarily the exact motion of ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ – it’s the idea that Mike Brown was an unarmed, innocent man who was shot multiple times,” said one protester, arguing that the principle is more important than the precise details of the event.