On August 9, after he shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson called his superiors to the scene.
Wilson then drove himself to the Ferguson Police Department where he washed his hands and inspected his gun. He sealed it, still bloodied, in a yellow envelope he handed over as evidence.
After he took off his uniform shirt, Wilson was brought to a local ER to treat his injuries; he left the shirt and duty belt at the police station. According to both a 200-page police report on the investigation and testimony given to the grand jury tasked with deciding whether or not to indict Wilson, an unnamed St. Louis County Police officer then took the belt into custody.
But for some reason, that belt did not remain in police custody. According to testimony, the belt somehow ended up in the trunk of Wilson’s personal car — the grand jury was never told how or why the belt was returned to Wilson — where it remained for more than a month until his lawyer submitted it to authorities as evidence in the ongoing investigation into Brown’s death.