Following days of violent protests and riots, more facts continue to surface regarding the 18-year-old black man shot by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer Saturday.
Amid demands made by activists groups like the New Black Panthers and hacker collective Anonymous to release the name of the officer responsible, Ferguson police announced his name Thursday. To provide context, though, the department also released some details that seem to poke holes in the assertion among many protesters that Brown’s death was completely arbitrary.
Earlier this week, police confirmed that Brown pushed the officer – now identified as six-year veteran Darren Wilson – into his cruiser and struggled for his weapon before being shot. Wilson was later treated for serious facial injuries sustained in the altercation, the department affirmed.
The police report released Friday reveals even more of the story, including the fact that Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, were stopped after they were suspected of robbing a local convenience store.
While Johnson claims that Brown had his hands raised in surrender when he was shot, police say the suspect was combative throughout the altercation.
Providing a timeline of the altercation, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson confirmed that Wilson approached the pair at 12:01 p.m.; and by the time backup arrived three minutes later, Brown had already been shot.
The robbery took place about an hour before Wilson stopped Brown and Johnson. Jackson said his department planned to release a video of the incident, still frame images of which have already been widely circulated online.
Stills from camera pic.twitter.com/FEcmKc3oGr
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 15, 2014
No additional specifics regarding the shooting itself were released; however, Gov. Jay Nixon expressed optimism that the new information might calm tensions in the city.
“I’m pleased that the people of Ferguson and the region began to get some long-overdue information today,” the Democrat said, “and I will continue to call for openness and transparency as the parallel investigations into this tragedy proceed to take their necessary conclusions.”
As for the police response to an angry mob of protesters, Ferguson police were replaced by St. Louis authorities as the agents in charge shortly after violence erupted. State Highway Patrol officers, under the command of Captain Ron Johnson, have recently been introduced into the situation in an effort to restore peace.
Johnson is a black Ferguson native who, instead of encouraging the use of force against the rioters, has attempted to engage in dialogue with the upset locals.
A subsequent press conference Friday by Jackson indicates the robbery was not a factor in the altercation between Wilson and Brown. He confirmed that, when the officer approached Brown, he was unaware of the man’s alleged involvement in the crime.
Photo Credit: Twitter/Ryan J. Reilly