Police release name of officer who shot Michael Brown

FERGUSON, Missouri —  Darren Wilson was just one of 53 officers in a small-town police department until his encounter with a unarmed teenager on a street in a St. Louis suburb.

Authorities, citing death threats, had refused to release Wilson’s name since he fatally shot Michael Brown last Saturday.

On Friday, Police Chief Thomas Jackson disclosed the identity of the man whose actions sparked sometimes violent protests and thrust the quiet community of Ferguson, Missouri, population 22,400, into the national spotlight.

It was not known whether Wilson, an officer for six years, has been placed on modified assignment. Jackson told reporters that the officer had faced no disciplinary action during his time on the job.

Jackson, before speaking to reporters, told CNN’s Don Lemon that the officer was “devastated” by what had happened.

“This is his community,” Jackson said. “He never wanted any of this to happen.”

Jackson said the officer had responded to a call about a sick person before receiving a call about a convenience store robbery shortly before noon the day of the shooting.

Wilson had received via radio a description of the robbery suspect when he encountered Brown on the street, Jackson said.

Authorities had not previously mentioned reports of a robbery in the area.

Brown, an African-American teenager who was days away from starting college, was shot to death in what police said was a struggle for the officer’s gun. No one has disputed that Brown was unarmed. But witnesses said the 18-year-old victim was shot as he tried to distance himself and raised his hands into the air.

The shooting sparked protests and isolated looting incidents, and police response with rubber bullets and tear gas, and arrested dozens of people. Many in the community demanded to know the name of the officer involved in the shooting.

Residents complained about long-simmering tensions between the mostly African-American community and predominantly white police force.

Two-thirds of Ferguson’s population is black. The police chief is white. Only three African-Americans are part of the 53-person department.

The mayor is also white, and so are five of the six city council members.

16 comments

  • Wanda

    I still do not understand why the teenager was shot, he was 35 feet away and had his hands in the air and was unarmed. Even if he assaulted the officer, he was 35 feet away when he was shot?????? and unarmed??? Are we missing some pieces to the puzzle or what? He shot and killed, he shot to kill and an 18 yr old is dead. Trigger happy, untrained, what? What excuse could he possibly justify in killing this young man. Maybe we are missing some info here but it does not seem justifiable to me to kill someone who is unarmed and has already distanced themselves from you with their hands in the air.

  • NONEYA

    Assuming the cop had the right person, and the diseased was the robber, walking away with your hand in the air pretty much says I give up…. why shoot to kill??? if he did not do anything wrong why not come out and say what really happened and not hide behind his force???? think about it people, someone like that has something to hide… white or not.

  • Wanda

    Another point, this unarmed teen with hands in the air was shot more than once, this is just wrong on so many levels and seriously sad. Shooting and killing him, shot him more than once, how can this be justified?

  • seeit

    When will The Infamous FBI bow and kowtow down to the Masses’ immediate demands of their “Investigation”?
    Did the Infamous FBI/DOJ ever release the results; in Their Media, publically, of their dual “Investigations” into “Justice for Trayvon”, with all the afforded Media fanfare, pomp, and circumstance? NO! Still waiting…….
    But The Democratic Aligned Forces ARE ALL Perfectly PC under the direction of their DoInjustice affording their “Rebranding” of Justice for some of their favorites; specially if against others, that aren’t their favorites. Too clearly transparent to pretend otherwise.

  • Wendy

    Racist article. It shouldn’t matter what color they are. The mayor is white? Really? What about the people who have had their property or businesses vandalized?

    • Julie Johnson

      Yeah! “Inquiring minds” want to know because we all get that MONEY and SKIN COLOR are more important than life itself! NOT! “Racist article” really??? If your child was shot down in the street, NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON, you wouldn’t want to know why??? You would be more worried about property and businesses being vandalized?? MY GAWD! No wonder this nation is in such pitiful shape!

  • Bill

    I love all of the armchair quarterbacking going on here. Why isnt there a vigil for all of the black on black crime.

  • wiseman

    Wanda you said you don’t know what the young man was shot. I will tell you. He was black and the officer was white.

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