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Cops ID Officer, Teen Allegedly Robbed Store

Brown allegedly tussled with store owner after trying to steal $50 box of cigars

August 16, 2014
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

FERGUSON, Mo.- Police on Friday identified the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager and released documents alleging the young man had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a "strong-arm" robbery shortly before he was killed.

Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the officer did not know the teen was a robbery suspect at the time of the shooting and stopped Michael Brown and a companion "because they were walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic."

Darren Wilson, a 28-year-old white officer, has patrolled suburban St. Louis for six years and had no complaints filed against him, Jackson said.

Article Photos

AP Photo/These images show security camera footage from a convenience store in Ferguson, Mo., on Saturday, the day that Michael Brown was fatally shot by a police officer. A report released Friday by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson says the footage shows a confrontation between Brown and an employee at the store.

Brown's relatives said no robbery would justify shooting the teen after he put his hands up. Family attorneys said Brown's parents were blindsided by the allegations and the release of a surveillance video from the convenience store.

"It appears to be him," attorney Daryl Parks said, referring to the footage, which he said was released without any advance notice from police.

The police chief described Wilson as "a gentle, quiet man" who had been "an excellent officer." He has been on the Ferguson force for four years and served prior to that in the neighboring community of Jennings.

Fact Box

SHOOTING TIMELINE

Below is a timeline of the shooting of Michael Brown on Saturday in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri.

  • 11:48 a.m. - Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson arrives at a residence in response to an unrelated call about a 2-month-old child having difficulty breathing when she coughs.
  • 11:51 a.m. - Ferguson police receive a call of a robbery in progress at the Ferguson Market convenience store.
  • 11:54 a.m. - A different, unidentified officer arrives at the Ferguson Market and gets a physical description from an employee and customer of a suspect who took some cigars.
  • 11:57 a.m. - A police dispatcher broadcasts a detailed description of the robbery suspect, saying that he was wearing a red St. Louis Cardinals ball cap and yellow socks and was walking with another man toward another convenience store called QuikTrip.
  • 12:00 p.m. - Officer Wilson leaves the scene of the call about a sick child.
  • 12:01 p.m. - Officer Wilson encounters Michael Brown walking on a street and the shooting follows. Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Friday that Wilson did not know about the robbery at the convenience store when he encountered Brown.
  • 12:04 p.m. - Another officer arrives on the scene after the shooting, and an ambulance is contacted to treat Brown's wounds.

Wilson, who was placed on administrative leave after the Aug. 9 shooting, "never intended for any of this to happen," Jackson said.

According to police reports released Friday, authorities received a 911 call at 11:51 a.m. on the day of the shooting reporting a robbery at the Ferguson Market. An unidentified officer was dispatched to the store, arriving within three minutes. The officer interviewed an employee and customer, who gave a description of a man who stole the cigars and walked off with another man toward a QuikTrip store.

Descriptions of the suspect were broadcast over the police radio. The officer did not find the suspects either on the street or at the Quik Trip, the reports said.

The robber took a box of Swisher Sweets, a brand of small, inexpensive cigars. The suspects were identified as 18-year-old Michael Brown and 22-year-old Dorian Johnson, according to the reports.

Separately, Wilson had been responding to a nearby call involving a sick 2-month child from 11:48 am until noon, when he left that place. A minute later, he encountered Michael Brown walking down Canfield Drive. The documents contained no description of what happened between Brown and Wilson.

Another family attorney, Benjamin Crump, noted that police did not release a photo of the officer but released images from the store's security video that they say show Brown grabbing a man inside the store. Crump said he had not seen the photos.

Police "are choosing to disseminate information that is very strategic to try to help them justify the execution-style" killing, said Crump, who also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the teenager fatally shot by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder.

The Aug. 9 video appears to show a man wearing a ball cap, shorts and white T-shirt grabbing a much shorter man by his shirt near the store's door.

A police report alleges that Brown grabbed the man who had come from behind the store counter and "forcefully pushed him back" into a display rack.

 
 
 

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