An unnamed source has “unequivocally” knocked down the anonymous report that Officer Darren Wilson suffered broken bones near his eye socket before shooting unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
The deadly shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, provoked international outrage as police in military gear confronted protesters demanding answers from authorities in ongoing – and frequently violent – demonstrations.
Little information about the investigation has been officially released, although at least a dozen sources close to the officer or authorities have refuted witness statements about the incident.
Conservative blogger Jim Hoft – known in some quarters as “the dumbest man on the Internet” – reported Tuesday that the officer suffered an “orbital blowout fracture to the eye socket.”
The blogger, who calls himself “The Gateway Pundit,” based his report on two unnamed sources, including one “within the Prosecuting Attorney’s office and confirmed by the St. Louis County Police.”
Hoft’s claims have been widely reported, despite his dubious reputation.
But CNN’s Don Lemon reported Thursday afternoon that he had spoken to another “source close to the investigation” who strongly denied the blogger’s claims.
“The officer, Darren Wilson, did go the hospital after the altercation and the shooting death of Michael Brown,” Lemon reported, based on the source’s claims. “He did have X-rays done, he had a swollen face, but the X-rays for a broken or a torn eye socket came back negative.”
“That source says it is not true at all, he did not have a torn eye socket,” Lemon continued, “and so, he’s saying that unequivocally — he unequivocally denies that, saying that it did not happen, but he did have a swollen face, he did go for X-rays.”
The CNN reporter said there was obviously “some sort of scuffle” that caused facial injuries to the officer, but Wilson did not suffer any tears, ruptures, or fractures to his orbital socket.
The St. Louis County prosecutor began presenting evidence from the case Wednesday before a grand jury, but that evidence won’t include an incident report from the shooting.
The prosecutor’s office revealed Thursday that Ferguson police never generated an incident report that included Wilson’s account of the shooting and instead turned over the investigation almost immediately to St. Louis County police.
Prosecutors have not yet spoken to Wilson, who went into hiding shortly after the fatal shooting.
Grand jury proceedings are held in secret, and transcripts and other evidence may be kept from the public unless a judge decides to release them or witnesses choose to discuss their participation after testifying.
Watch this video report posted online by CNN:
[Image via Agence France-Presse]