Ferguson Police ID Officer, Say Teen Robbed Store

Cops say Michael Brown took cigars, pushed store clerk

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 15, 2014 10:13 AM CDT | Updated Aug 15, 2014 11:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Big new developments today in the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo.: Authorities identified the officer who shot the 18-year-old to death, and they said Brown was suspected of robbing a store and roughing up a clerk shortly before the shooting, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Police Chief Thomas Jackson identified the officer as Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran with no blemishes on his record. He said Wilson, who is on paid administrative leave, was responding to a call about a "strong-arm robbery" at a convenience store. While Jackson didn't say whether Brown was a suspect in that robbery, newly released police documents do exactly that. They accuse Brown of taking cigars from the store and pushing an employee who asked him to pay up, reports USA Today. Police say that Brown's friend Dorian Johnson was with him at the store. A snippet from a police report, with the names of store employees redacted:

  • "As (redacted) was placing the boxes on the counter, Brown grabbed a box of Swisher Sweets cigars and handed them to Johnson who was standing behind Brown. (Redacted) witnessed (redacted) tell Brown that he had to pay for those cigars first. That is when Brown reached across the counter and grabbed numerous packs of Swisher Sweets and turned to leave the store. (Redacted) then calls '911.' Meanwhile (redacted) comes out from behind the counter and attempts to stop Brown from leaving. According to (redacted), (redacted) was trying to lock the door until Brown returned the merchandise to him. That is when Brown grabbed (redacted) by the shirt and forcefully pushed him back in to a display rack. (Redacted) backed away and Brown and Johnson exited the store with the cigars."

Wilson responded to the scene and encountered both men on the street. Police have said that one of the men pushed the officer into his patrol car and tried to grab his gun, and that the fight continued onto the street, where Brown got shot multiple times, reports AP. Johnson has alleged that Brown got shot with his hands up. Today's developments come after tensions in Ferguson eased considerably after a shift in police tactics.

Demonstrators hold candles and signs Thursday in Ferguson, Mo.
Demonstrators hold candles and signs Thursday in Ferguson, Mo.   (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Images from surveillance video that purport to show Michael Brown pushing a store employee before the fatal shooting.
Images from surveillance video that purport to show Michael Brown pushing a store employee before the fatal shooting.   (Ferguson Police Department)
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