FERGUSON, Misssouri: Police named Darren Wilson as the officer who shot and killed an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and said the youth was the key suspect in a robbery that occurred minutes before the shooting, which sparked days of sometimes violent protests.
Wilson was the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday, police said, giving in to pressure to identify the six-year veteran officer with a clean record, and to provide details about the investigation in order to ease tensions in the largely black suburb outside St. Louis.
Days of protests had cast a spotlight on racial tensions in greater St Louis, where civil rights groups have complained in the past of racial profiling by police, of the arrests of a disproportionate number of blacks and of discriminatory police hiring practices.
At a news conference yesterday, police released incident reports, video stills of the robbery and provided a more detailed timeline of the August 9 events. The reports, based on video surveillance and witness interviews, said the events unfolded shortly before noon, with a report of a robbery at a Ferguson convenience store.
Two men, Brown and 22-year-old Dorian Johnson, entered the store and Brown became involved in a “struggle or confrontation” with someone else at the store, apparently over a box of cigars, a police report said.
One page of the report named Brown as the “primary suspect in this incident,” describing him as being dressed in khaki shorts, a white t-shirt and sporting a red baseball hat. It identified Dorian Johnson, the friend who was with Brown when he was shot, as a second suspect.
That page of the incident report appeared to be written by a police officer whose name was redacted from the publicly released version.