'Hands up, don't shoot' witness arrested on drug charges days after suing Ferguson and police
Dorian Johnson (KSDK)

A friend who was with Michael Brown when he was fatally shot by a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer was arrested Wednesday, just days after filing a lawsuit against the city.


Dorian Johnson, who told police that Brown had his hands up in surrender when he was shot and killed by Officer Darren Wilson, was arrested in St. Louis on suspicion of drug charges and resisting arrest.

Officers responded about 3:20 p.m. to a call about a large group possibly armed with guns, and a police source told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Johnson was arrested with two of his brothers.

The source said Johnson had cough medication mixed with what police believe is an illegal narcotic.

The police report shows officers dispersed the crowd, and an officer spotted a man who appeared to have a weapon.

Another man grabbed the officer’s arm as he attempted to pat down the suspect, according to the report, and a third man believed to be Johnson then intervened and allegedly tried to get rid of drug evidence.

All three men, believed to be Johnson and his brothers, were arrested.

Johnson's witness account to Brown's shooting -- which sparked months of protest -- inspired the slogan, "hands up, don't shoot," that many believe was discredited when federal investigators could not confirm the unarmed 18-year-old had tried to surrender.

Johnson sued Ferguson, Wilson, and former police chief Thomas Jackson, claiming the officer assaulted him and violated his constitutional rights.

The suit filed last week claims Wilson, who is no longer a police officer, intentionally and negligently inflicted emotional pain.

The lawsuit seeks damages of at least $25,000 and an injunction to prevent the city and its police from engaging in assault, unlawful arrest and excessive force.

Watch this video report about the lawsuit posted online by KSDK-TV: