Ferguson chief of police Thomas Jackson told reporters Friday that Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot Mike Brown, had no idea that he was a robbery suspect. According to CNN, Jackson confirmed that the initial contact between the officer and Brown was because he was “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic.”
The chief’s statement raised the question, why did the Ferguson police department release the surveillance tapes the same day that the previously unidentified officer’s name was revealed? Jackson says that he distributed the evidence “beacuse the press asked for it,” adding that he couldn’t hold it indefinitely.
The chief continued “we needed to release that at the same time we needed to release the name of the officer involved in the shooting,” though he didn’t elaborate on why.
Brown’s family wasn’t told ahead of time about the alleged robbery or surveillance video. Eric Davis, the cousin of Brown’s mother says, “It’s a diversion, and it’s an attempt to smear Michael’s character.” Davis added that the family has not been happy with the police department’s handling of the case, “…It (should be) more about what happened on Canfield Drive, where Michael was executed.”
Ron Johnson, the head of security in Ferguson seems to agree. The Missouri State highway Patrol Captain said, “I told (Chief Jackson) I think both of those being released today was not needed and was not the way that we needed to go. Today is about taking care of this incident here, getting to those facts that are there, and Michael Brown and his family.”
Johnson says he thinks the whole ordeal, including race relations between communities and law enforcement, “will create change throughout our nation.”
The new details in the case have added fuel to the unrest in Ferguson and nationwide. Many remain frustrated that additional details have not come out regarding the shooting of Brown. Protests got ugly again last night as protestors looted the store in the video as well as several other stores.
No arrests were made but police did fire off tear gas when someone threw ticks at officers.