The man who admitted to shooting two police officers in the streets of Ferguson, Mo., has recanted his confession.
When arrested over the weekend, Jeffrey Williams, 20, made the improbable claim that he fired the shots but was actually targeting someone who had robbed him — and it was pure circumstance that he struck the two cops instead.
Williams’ attorney now claims that the confession came only after his client was pistol-whipped by police — as if the Ferguson Police Department doesn’t have enough on its plate already.
“He told me that he never fired a weapon,” said attorney Jerryl T. Christmas, according to Yahoo News.
— Yahoo News (@YahooNews) March 17, 2015
The attorney said Williams was scared and in a “tremendous amount of pain” from the alleged beating.
“I think under those circumstances he would have said anything,” Christmas said. “Any time someone is questioned without counsel and then I see that kind of bruising, then I’m suspicious about any statements that he may have voluntarily given.”
After seeing the mileage gotten from the lie heard ’round the world — “hands up, don’t shoot” — which was embraced by a willing media, and realizing the enormous pressure the local police department is under from the Justice Department, this latest development is not surprising.
It’s also unclear if the non-confession was inspired by the comments from Bishop Derrick Robinson, a Ferguson protest leader who went on MSNBC Monday to say Williams was set up by police.
“I think he was not only, he was beaten, when he was brutally beaten when he was arrested, and I think he was coerced to, without, he was not even given the opportunity to see counsel, before even, the police, they beat him to confessing,” Robinson claimed, while producing no evidence.
Social media users responded with a healthy dose of skepticism. Here is a sampling as seen on Twitter:
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