Ferguson police have identified Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force, as the man who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown on Saturday.
Anonymous incorrectly released the name of the man they suspected to be the shooter, Bryan P. Willman, on Thursday, leading to a good amount of confusion. While they were wrong, the added pressure surely spurred police to identify the real shooter.
Police have been very careful until today to protect the identity of the murderer, first promising to reveal his name, and then reneging on that promise–something that, along with the clearly racist attitudes demonstrated by some officers, only served to add to the tensions in Ferguson.
Wilson has been on paid vacation, or “administrative leave,” since the shooting. Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson said the department will release a police report from a “strong-arm robbery” (shoplifting) at a convenience store that occurred prior to the murder. The chief said Wilson approached Brown because he “fit the description.”
Police released stills that allegedly show a confrontation between the store owner and Brown, who police say stole some Swisher Sweets.
No further details on the altercation or the events leading up to Brown’s murder at the hands of police were released.
According to a police report, “Brown is the primary suspect in this incident.”
Six days after the shooting, and now Brown is a robbery suspect.
Now the question remains–if it truly is Brown in the footage, why the secrecy on the identity of the shooter? Why hide details? Does a robbery automatically deprive him of his right to a fair trial, or is the officer permitted to get away with playing judge, jury, and executioner of a man who had no criminal record?
This is a developing story. We will keep you updated.