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Ferguson Police ID Officer, Call Brown Robbery Suspect

Ferguson Police ID Officer, Call Brown Robbery Suspecti
Chris Simkins
August 15, 2014 7:51 PM
Thousands of people have been holding protest rallies across the United States in remembrance of an unarmed black teenager fatally shot by a police officer in the state of Missouri on August 9. After four nights of demonstrations, the community of Ferguson, where the shooting occurred, is peaceful. VOA’s Chris Simkins reports racial tensions in the town still remain high, however, as new details are released about the investigation.
Ferguson Police ID Officer, Call Brown Robbery Suspect
Chris Simkins

Police in the U.S. state of Missouri say the unarmed black teenager whose shooting death by a police officer sparked days of protests was a robbery suspect.

The police chief of the town of Ferguson, Thomas Jackson, released police reports Friday, including video surveillance footage police said showed 18-year-old shooting victim Michael Brown involved in a confrontation with a convenience store clerk on August 9. The report says Brown left with a box of cigars. He was later shot by the officer responding to an emergency medical call.

At a news conference Friday, Jackson said the officer initially stopped Brown because the teenager was blocking traffic as he walked down the street.

  • Messages written in a parking lot protest the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 15, 2014.
  • Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announces the name of Darren Wilson as the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 15, 2014.
  • Demonstrators raise their hands as a symbol of protest of the shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 15, 2014.
  • Protesters raise their hands during a peaceful demonstration, as communities react to the shooting of Michael Brown in New York's Times Square, Aug. 14, 2014.
  • Women light candles while attending a vigil to honor Michael Brown, in Brooklyn, New York, Aug. 14, 2014.
  • A Missouri State Highway Patrol officer clears a path to evacuate a woman needing medical attention, in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 14, 2014.
  • Men carry a woman in need of medical assistance during a peaceful demonstration in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 14, 2014.
  • Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson speaks to protesters while he walks through a peaceful demonstration as communities continue to react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Aug. 14, 2014.

Policeman identified

The police chief identified the officer who shot and killed Brown as Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force with no disciplinary record. The police department placed Wilson on administrative leave after the shooting. Jackson characterized Wilson as a "gentle, quiet man" who "never intended for any of this to happen."

Ferguson police documents say these are surveillance images of Michael Brown pushing a convenience store worker shortly before Brown was shot and killed by police Officer Darren Wilson.
Ferguson police documents say these are surveillance images of Michael Brown pushing a convenience store worker shortly before Brown was shot and killed by police Officer Darren Wilson.


Protest rallies 

The incident has sparked violence in the town and vigils by thousands of people across the United States.

At solidarity events held in nearly 100 cities Thursday, protesters observed a moment of silence for the teenager and others who have died at the hands of police.  

Thursday was a night of peaceful protest in the St. Louis suburb, as demonstrators again called for justice. Heavily-armed local police were replaced by state highway patrol officers who stayed out out of the way of demonstrators. Crowds even cheered as the new officer in charged marched with protesters. Captain Ron Johnson grew up here.

"It means a lot to me that we break this cycle of violence, defuse the tension and build trust showing the utmost respect for every interaction with every citizen," said Johnson.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama urged calm as police toned down their response to violent protests.

Obama said "there is never an excuse for violence against police, or for those who would use this tragedy as a cover for vandalism or looting.''

He also said there is no excuse for police to use excessive force against peaceful protests or to throw protesters in jail for lawfully exercising their First Amendment rights.

On Thursday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered the state police to take over security from local law enforcement, who have drawn heavy criticism for their response to the demonstrations. He said the fact that Ferguson looks like a "war zone" after rioting is "unacceptable" and said police would shift their approach.

Conflicting accounts of what happened are under investigation.  Witnesses say a white police officer shot the black teenager multiple times as the young man had his arms raised but police say shots were fired during a struggle for the officer's gun.

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Comment Sorting
by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
August 15, 2014 3:37 PM
The Ferguson police chief, in a just finished press conference, all but admitted his cops killed the kid for just walking down the middle of the street and didn't know about the robbery. It will be interesting to see what type of street reaction his comments will spark in the coming hours -- everywhere across the United States.

by: meanbill from: USA
August 15, 2014 2:14 PM
Obama "quote" said it on June 05, 2007... "That the Bush administration had done nothing to defuse a "QUIET RIOT" among blacks."..... (and now), what has US President Barack Obama done, to defuse this "QUIET RIOT" among blacks?. The more things change, the more things remain the same, doesn't it?.... who's to blame now?

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