NEW VIDEO: Police Say Michael Brown Robbed Store Before Shooting
Ferguson, Missouri police released surveillance video (above) showing a "strong-arm" robbery, allegedly committed by a teenager who was later shot to death by a police officer. The suspect on the video, identified by police as 18-year-old Michael Brown, shoplifted about $50 worth of cigars from the store, police said.
When the suspect was confronted by the convenience store clerk, he pushed the man into a display rack and walked out.
A short time later, Brown and another man were confronted by a police officer nearby. But later in the afternoon, police chief Thomas Jackson clarified that the officer did not know about the robbery when he confronted Brown.
The suspected accomplice, Dorian Johnson, has spoken out publicly about the shooting.
Critics of the police are still highlighting the fact that Brown was not armed during the incident or in the ensuing confrontation with officer Darren Wilson.
Brown's family released a statement through their attorneys following the release of the video, saying they're "beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piecemeal information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight."
There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender.
The prolonged release of the officer’s name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agencies.
It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him.
The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention, from being focused on the autopsy, ballistics report and the trajectory of the bullets that caused Michael’s death and will demonstrate to the world this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager.
Wilson was identified this morning as the police officer who fatally shot the unarmed Brown. Authorities had withheld the name for days, arguing they were concerned about the officer's safety.
Police chief Thomas Jackson said Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force, has never had disciplinary action taken against him.
Police had previously given no explanation for why Wilson chose to stop Brown and his friend on the street.
According to Jackson, the officer was on a routine "sick call," accompanying an ambulance, at 11:48am on Sunday. Wilson then left the sick call after receiving word from dispatch about the robbery and a description of suspects.
Wilson encountered Brown at 12:01pm and then a second officer arrived at 12:04pm, following the shooting.
Witnesses and police have told different stories about how the shooting unfolded.
Police have said 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot after an officer encountered him and another man on the street. They say one of the men pushed the officer into his squad car, then physically assaulted him in the vehicle and struggled with the officer over the officer's weapon.
At least one shot was fired inside the car. The struggle then spilled onto the street, where Brown was shot multiple times.
Witnesses have said the officer fired on Brown as he tried to run away, then fired the fatal shots after Brown had gone down to the ground with his hands up.
Protests last night were reported to be calmer than in previous days after the Missouri State Highway Patrol took over security on the streets.
Police came under harsh criticism this week for their show of force, using military-style vehicles and pointing weapons at unarmed protesters.
On "Hannity" last night, Jackson said officers had been shot at during the protests, with other demonstrators throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks.
He noted that the number of violent protesters was small overall.