New information in Michael Brown death does little to comfort residents
At a press conference Friday morning, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released the name of the officer involved in the shooting of teenager Michael Brown.
Jackson identified Darren Wilson as the officer who fatally shot Brown last Saturday just after noon. In addition to revealing Wilson as the shooter, Jackson also released an incident report and other documents implicating Brown as a “robbery suspect” for an incident that occurred just minutes before his death.
The report states that Brown took Swisher Sweet cigars without paying and later had a confrontation with a store employee before exiting from the store. Dorian Johnson was with Brown at the time and confirmed to MSNBC.com’s Trymaine Lee that Brown took the cigars without paying.
But how were the two incidents related?
At a second press conference Friday afternoon, Jackson said the officer who stopped Brown was unaware he was a suspect in the incident and engaged with him because Brown and Johnson were walking in the middle of the street.
Many Ferguson residents questioned the timing and purpose of the “robbery” information.
“If he did it, then he should be taken into custody – not shot,” said Alvari Edwards, a Ferguson resident for more than 15 years. “I don’t condone the way some of us here have responded to these events, but it’s not right what they’re doing. Because of some cigars, he had to die?”
Edwards son, Damon Roberts Jr., held a sign near his mother that said: ‘I Am Mike Brown.’ The young boy joined dozens of other protestors who lined W. Florissant Avenue near the Quik Trip store that was destroyed last Sunday night.
“To me it looks like, the authorities are trying to protect the suspect instead of the victim,” said Carl Walton who lives St. Louis. “You cannot justify killing a young unarmed man. They took justice in their own hands.”
Walton has a barbershop called So Flyy Hair Gallery. He said the conversations at the Gallery lately have been troubling.
“I’m not sure that everyone involved in this investigation wants justice to be served,” Walton said. “We need some action done.”
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