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Cop Who Killed Michael Brown Identified

By Chuck Sudo in News on Aug 15, 2014 3:00PM

After a week of silence and violent crackdowns against demonstrators, Ferguson, MO police chief Thomas Jackson finally revealed the identity of the police officer who shot and killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last weekend. Talking Points Memo reports Brown was the primary suspect in the robbery.

The police also released an incident report about the robbery, which said that Brown was the "primary suspect," according to reporters at the scene who had access to the physical copies. Brown had stolen cigars from the convenience store, the report stated, and had pushed an employee who asked him to pay for them.

Darren Wilson was described by Jackson as a six-year veteran of the police department with an exemplary disciplinary record. Jackson told reporters Wilson was responding to a call of a robbery at a convenience store before the encounter with Brown that led to the teen’s death and subsequent calls for Wilson to be identified.

Jackson had previously claimed Wilson suffered a broken ankle from a brick thrown at him by demonstrators, and resisted calls to reveal Wilson’s name for security reasons. Jackson told a St. Louis television station “today was the day” after a Thursday meeting with officials.

“Nothing specific went into that decision, but we feel that there’s a certain calm,” he said. “There’s a huge outcry from the community.”

Jackson’s refusal to name Wilson as Brown’s killer fanned tensions between protesters and police. The online hacktivist group Anonymous on Thursday released the name of another police officer they said was responsible for killing Brown—that claim proved to be unfounded.

Meanwhile, demonstrators were able to peacefully protest Brown’s killing Thursday night after Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ordered the Missouri Highway Patrol to take over crowd control and security in the St. Louis suburb. Capt. Ron Johnson, the officer in charge of the renewed security effort, and other state troopers walked side-by-side with protesters. One demonstrator, Pedro Smith, said the difference between the Highway Patrol’s approach and the response by Ferguson police firing tear gas and stun grenades into the crowd was like night and day.

"All (Ferguson police) did was look at us and shoot tear gas," said Pedro Smith, 41, who has participated in the nightly protests. "This is totally different. Now we're being treated with respect."