Ferguson, Mo. police chief Tom Jackson provided more details on the events leading to the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, saying that he has been sitting on video showing Brown robbing a convenience store for days and that the officer who shot the teen did not know of the robbery.
“It had nothing to do with the stop,” Jackson said of officer Darrell Wilson’s reasoning for stopping Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, as they were walking down the street last Saturday.
That information was the second bombshell Jackson dropped Friday — the first being that Brown had stolen cigars and assaulted a convenience store clerk minutes before his encounter with Wilson.
Wilson’s reasoning for approaching the pair is considered crucial in determining Wilson’s state of mind preceding the shooting. In his first press conference, Jackson left reporters with the impression that Wilson may have possibly believed that Brown had been involved in a robbery. Jackson did not take questions after releasing the information.
“We’ve had this tape for a while,” Jackson told reporters in the second press conference. “We didn’t have good cause … to not release it,” he said.
He said that he was ultimately forced to hand over the tape because “too many people put [Freedom of Information] requests, and I had to release it.”
He said “it would not be prudent” to release Wilson’s name while not releasing the robbery video.
The Daily Caller learned Thursday that Brown may have been involved in a strong-arm robbery and inquired with Ferguson and St. Louis County police. TheDC did not file an open records request and was unable to confirm whether the robbery took place.
Many in Ferguson voiced outrage following Jackson’s release of the officer’s name and the robbery video early Friday. A number of protesters in the St. Louis suburb told reporters that they did not believe that Brown was even in the robbery video.
“I’d just say, take a look at it,” Jackson said. “Just take a look at the tape.”
He also noted that the items stolen from the store were found on Brown.
Jackson said that Wilson, who has been a police officer for six years, is “devastated” by the shooting. According to Jackson, Wilson claims that Brown assaulted him and attempted to take his weapon. A shot was fired in Wilson’s squad car and several more were fired a short distance from the vehicle.
Witnesses at the scene, including Johnson, have claimed that after Brown was initially shot he attempted to surrender. But Wilson fired more rounds, they say.
“He was a gentleman, a quiet officer,” Jackson said of Wilson. “And he has been an excellent officer.”
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