Police allege Missouri teen robbed store
By David A. Lieb and Alan Scher Zagier, AP
August 17, 2014, 12:01 am TWN
FERGUSON, Missouri--Police on Friday identified the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb and released documents alleging the young man had been suspected of stealing a US$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, 28, has been an officer in suburban St. Louis for six years and had no complaints filed against him, Jackson said.
Brown's death ignited four days of clashes with furious protesters. The tension eased Thursday after the governor turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Within hours, the mood on the street lightened, with state troopers walking side-by-side with peaceful protesters and no hint of violence. Gone were the police in riot gear and armored vehicles, pointing assault rifles at protesters and firing tear gas into crowds.
Brown's relatives immediately questioned whether the officer really believed Brown was a suspect and said no robbery would justify shooting the teen after he put his hands up.
The family's attorney, Benjamin Crump, said Brown's parents were blindsided by the allegations.