TIME Crime

There’s Very Little in the Michael Brown Shooting Incident Report

Ferguson reacts to shooting of Michael Brown
Theo Murphy (left) of Florissant and his brother Jordan Marshall light candles, at a memorial on Canfield Drive where unarmed teen Michael Brown was fatally shot, Aug. 21, 2014 in Ferguson, Mo. Christian Gooden—St. Louis Post-Dispatch/Polaris

Police waited 10 days to approve It

Updated 1:45 p.m. ET

Nearly two weeks after Michael Brown’s death, a police report on the shooting has finally been made public. But the glaring lack of detail is likely to increase widespread criticism that the law-enforcement community is closing ranks around Darren Wilson, the officer who fatally shot Brown on Aug. 9.

The incident report, filed by the St. Louis County police department, contains no new information on the encounter between Brown and Wilson. There are no written details about the event. As a result, the officer’s account of what transpired when the two men met just after noon on Aug. 9 remains a mystery.

And it will be for some time, according to Brian Schellman, a spokesman for the St. Louis County police department. Schellman told TIME that the department does not intend to release the “investigative” component of the incident report, the part that details Wilson’s version of events.

Schellman said that under the Missouri State “Sunshine” Law, the department was not required to release the information during a pending investigation. As a result, Wilson’s account of what happens will remain confidential unless it is presented by a prosecutor, Schellman said.

“We will not release it,” said Schellman, who noted that this is the county’s normal procedure. “This isn’t any different than a typical larceny from a local convenience store.”

Wilson never filed a report on the incident, according to the office of the St. Louis County prosecutor. The case was quickly turned over to the county at the request of local police. According to the document, the St. Louis County police entered the incident report on Aug. 19, 10 days after the shooting. It was approved for release the following morning.

(Read More: TIME’s cover story Inside the Tragedy of Ferguson)

The bare facts of the incident report were made public after the ACLU of Missouri filed a lawsuit demanding the public documents, as pursuant to Missouri’s Sunshine Law. Why it took so long for the department to comply, considering the lack of information contained in the documented, is unclear. The ACLU could not immediately be reached for comment.

The report classifies the potential offense as a “homicide.” Schellman said that is the standard classification for an investigation into an incident that leaves someone dead.

Read the full report below.

This story has been updated to reflect new information.

CARE Incident Report

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