- Associated Press - Monday, June 15, 2015

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The friend who was with Michael Brown last summer when 18-year-old Brown was shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer made his first court appearance Monday on a misdemeanor charge linked to an unrelated incident involving police last month.

Dorian Johnson, 23, declined to comment to The Associated Press after the brief hearing ultimately postponed until July 13 after neither of his attorneys showed up. Neither attorney responded to messages seeking comment.

Prosecutors on May 7 charged Johnson with resisting arrest or interfering with a lawful stop or detention, alleging that he tried to hinder the previous day’s arrest of his younger brother, 21-year-old Demonte Johnson, “by using or threatening the use of violence, physical force or physical interference.”

Johnson and Brown were walking in a Ferguson street last August when white police officer Darren Wilson confronted them. Wilson shot and killed Brown, who was black and unarmed, following a scuffle.

Brown’s death led to sometimes-violent protests in Ferguson and other U.S. cities, spawning a national “Black Lives Matter” movement seeking changes in how police deal with minorities.

A St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Justice Department declined to charge Wilson, who later resigned. But the Justice Department released a scathing report that cited racial bias and racial profiling in Ferguson policing and in a profit-driven municipal court system that frequently targeted blacks.

Dorian Johnson’s arrest last month came exactly a week after he sued Ferguson, Wilson and the city’s former police chief.

Demonte Johnson, who after last month’s confrontation was charged with resisting arrest and a misdemeanor count of assault on a law enforcement officer, is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.


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