Sorrell's Report Attempts to Discredit Witnesses.
The Attorney General's report goes to considerable lengths to discredit witnesses who do not support his conclusion, while denying it.
- The report selectively quotes selected witnesses which support specific elements of its conclusions throughout, while relegating all eyewitness statements contradicting the conclusions to a section of the report, DIFFERING WITNESS RECOLLECTIONS , in which it emphasizes the fallibility of memories, and cites extreme examples of discrepancies between statements while ignoring agreements between statements.
- The report highlights discrepancies in witness accounts of certain details, like where Woody was standing when the shooting started, and whether the police were shouting when addressing Woody; while ignoring, minimizing, or contradicting observations on which the eyewitnesses were in agreement, such as that Woody never threatened anyone but himself.
- The report in describing witness statements that Woody did not threaten anyone but himself, quotes the following one: "Not only did he not threaten anybody, but if it had been anybody but the police, they would have called it murder." Every witness stated when questioned that Woody never threatened anyone but himself. Yet the one quote used to summarize all those statements has political overtones and thus reduced credibility. Moreover the consensus view that Woody did not threaten others is not even presented as a majority view.
- The report quotes Thomas saying "Although there might have been six shots, some after Woodward fell." And immediately follows it with a paragraph explaining that many witnesses did not have good vantage points and that's why their accounts may not have squared with the report's conclusions. What it failed to mention was that Thomas was standing in the corner of the room where he had a very good vantage point, and that he continued to focus on the action throughout the shooting.