Officials on Friday morning named the Ferguson police officer who killed Michael Brown after a week of protesters calling for the name and violently clashing with police in the Missouri town.
Darren Wilson has served as a police officer for six years with no prior disciplinary action taken against him, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said in a press conference.
Friday morning, the chief said Officer Wilson had responded to a call in another part of Ferguson on Saturday when a violent robbery came across the radio with a description of the alleged robber matching Mr. Brown’s description. Minutes later, Officer Wilson encountered Mr. Brown and shot the teen.
Later Friday afternoon, however, Officer Jackson said the shooting was not at all related to the robbery, which he gave minute-by-minute details of earlier in the day in addition to releasing video of the robbery. Officer Wilson did not even know the robbery had happened or that Mr. Brown was a suspect, the chief said. Instead, he said Officer Wilson first interacted with Mr. Brown because he was walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.
When reporters asked why he would release video of the robbery if it had nothing to do with the shooting, he said “because the press asked for it.”
Officer Wilson shot and killed the 18-year-old an unarmed black man on Saturday, causing protests to erupt in the town for several days. Videos showed local police patrolling the streets in armored vehicles with snipers leveled at protesters. Police also used tear gas and rubber bullets against both press and protesters, causing some to call for the demilitarization of local police forces.