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Ferguson Police Identify Officer Who Shot Michael Brown

Will Federman |
August 15, 2014 | 9:11 a.m. PDT


Pressed for answers, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson finally revealed the name of the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug 9. Brown's fatal shooting sparked a series of increasingly tense confrontations with police in Ferguson, Missouri that stunned the nation.

SEE ALSO: Journalists Arrested And Assaulted As Ferguson, Mo. Descends Into Chaos

Police revealed six-year veteran Darren Wilson, who is white, responded to an emergency call at 11:51 p.m. after Brown and another male, Dorian Johnson, stole cigars from a convenience store. Wilson encountered and killed Brown at 12:01 p.m. Three minutes later, a second officer arrived after Wilson shot Brown. A supervisor was dispatched shortly thereafter.

Jackson also released still photos from the theft, but the police report–which has numerous redactions–filed the incident as a "strong-arm robbery." The wording bothered St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, and others on social media, considering both the value of the items Brown stole and the fact that he was unarmed. In Missouri, if the value of the property stolen is less than $500, it is classified as a misdemeanor theft.

The Ferguson police department also has a history of fabricating police reports, according to the Daily Beast. Matthew Yglesia at Vox has also questioned why Johnson, who is listed as Brown's accomplice in the robbery and was witness to the fatal shooting, is not under arrest if the report is accurate.

Jackson materialized in front of the burned-out remains of the QuikTrip from Sunday night's free-for-all and appeared "emotional," according to reporters. The police chief took no questions and did not disclose any other details, including the number of times Wilson fired on Brown. 

The impromptu press conference was stark contrast contrast to last night's party atmosphere, after Gov. Jay Nixon was forced to respond to mounting pressure from state and federal officials to reduce St. Louis County's militarized and antagonistic presence in Ferguson.

Police response in Ferguson drew nationwide condemnation after Alderman French and two journalists were arrested on Wednesday. Television cameras also captured police in riot gear firing tear gas at an Al Jazeera crew. Military veterans commented that they were outfitted with less hardware in actual war zones, and held more accountable.

SEE ALSO: Michael Brown's Death Reminiscent of St. Louis' Racist History

Nixon replaced St. Louis County police officers with the Missouri State Highway Patrol under the command of Capt. Ronald Johnson. Johnson, who is black, was captured walking side-by-side and hugging protestors. The dialed back police response resulted in images on social media of protestors directing traffic and marching peacefully. 

Both Nixon and Johnson are expected to address the media at 12 p.m. EST.


Reach Editor-in-Chief Will Federman here. And follow him on Twitter.



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