The Ferguson had long defied public demands for the release of the officer’s identity in the Michael Brown shooting case. But after the “hacktivist” group Anonymous fingered a similarly-named officer with a nearby department yesterday, the Ferguson Police Department finally decided to break their weeklong silence on Friday by identifying the officer who shot the unarmed African-American teenager.
Ferguson’s police chief, Thomas Jackson, identified the officer in question as Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the department who had no previous or current disciplinary actions taken against him. Wilson, however, has been placed on paid administrative leave.
“A lot of the stakeholders had a big meeting conversation yesterday, and then yesterday evening,” Chief Jackson said to a local St. Louis television station, “and we made the determination that today is the day.”
In an attempt to justify the shooting, they released videotape and photographs to show that a young man who they claim is Michael Brown, apparently stealing from convenience store shortly before the shooting. It that is indeed Brown, he was unarmed at the convenient store as well, thus calling into question what it is the police are trying to say, other than that petty theft is now crime punishable by death.
The officer who shot Brown, however, knew nothing about whether his victim had committed this crime or any other. This video, however, is apparently what police were waiting for, hoping that this would mitigate their guilt and lead to a decline in public calls for justice.
Police are characterizing the unarmed theft as a “robbery”, apparently in the attempt to make the crime look much more serious and life-threatening to the owner of the establishment.
(Article by M.B. David)