Dorian Johnson was the friend accompanying Michael Brown on August 9, when he was fatally shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The pair had robbed a convenience store moments before the confrontation with Wilson which led to Brown’s death.
Johnson has cashed in on his friend’s death, just like Brown’s parents did when merchandise was sold outside of their son’s funeral, as if the event was a baseball game or a concert. The 22-year-old told his sob story to every news outlet who would listen, before being disproven by Brown’s autopsy.
Johnson had a lot to say about his relationship with Brown, though the two had only known each other for five months at the time of his death. They were an odd pair. Johnson had recently moved out of his parents’ house and into the Canfield Green Apartments where Brown was ultimately shot. He had an infant and a girlfriend to support. Brown was about to start college.
Johnson described Brown’s standoffish behavior when they first met at a house party. The teen was apparently anti-social, choosing video games over human interaction. “Everybody we came around felt a little intimidated by him,” Johnson told the The Washington Post.
Johnson was a young, unmarried father trying desperately to support his girlfriend and child. He was not the company Brown should have been cavorting with. Ultimately, Brown’s relationship with Johnson ended in his untimely death. The recent high school graduate would have undoubtedly still been involved in some shady dealings without Johnson, but he would not have robbed the convenient store near Johnson’s home or been at the Canfield Green Apartments if it had not been for the friendship he kindled with Johnson.
Brown’s relationship with Johnson should be a lesson for parents with impressionable teenagers. Young people are heavily influenced by the individuals they are surrounded by. In Brown’s case, his involvement with Johnson proved to be fatal. Brown was an adult and is fully responsible for his own actions. However, he would most likely still be with us today if he had not been hanging around with Dorian Johnson.