Ferguson protests reignite after release of shooting officer’s name

Police officers line up across the street as they maintain their distance from protesters during on-going demonstrations to protest against the shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson
Police officers line up across the street as they maintain their distance from protesters during on-going demonstrations to protest against the shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson.
Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

 

Protesters clashed with riot police in Missouri overnight after police reports released earlier on Friday said a black teen was a suspect in the theft of cigars from a store minutes before an officer shot him dead.

While Ferguson, Missouri had been calmer over the last 24 hours after local law enforcement was replaced by state police led by an African-American captain, racially charged protests entered their sixth night since the Aug. 9 death of Michael Brown.

Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson said police fired a teargas canister at a crowd near a food and liquor store and broader violence and looting erupted.

The police reports released earlier did not explain what, if anything, Brown’s suspected theft had to do with the fatal encounter. There remains little clarity surrounding the moments leading up to Brown’s death.

Police were diverting traffic off a road that has become a major thoroughfare for demonstrators and a Reuters witness said the smell of gas drifted through the area.

About 200 people assembled in the area as rain fell, and some protesters threw bottles at riot gear-clad police who ordered the crowd to disperse.

Some chanted “hands up, don’t shoot”, while the Reuters photographer saw some people break into a handful of retail stores, one of which was the store Brown was suspected of robbing. Others who tried to enter the premises were stopped by other protesters.

Local broadcaster KMOV cited police as saying some protesters had started fires, including one at a store, and that one officer was hit in head with a bottle or a brick.

“I will say we talked all day about the release of the video tape at the food mart,” Captain Johnson, overseeing security since Thursday, told KMOV. “We had concerns that this would happen.”

CONFUSION OVER KILLING

Hours after the reports’ release earlier on Friday, police said that Officer Darren Wilson, 28, had no idea 18-year-old Brown was a robbery suspect. He simply wanted Brown to move from the road to the sidewalk, Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told a news conference.

Jackson’s announcements sowed confusion. After releasing the robbery incident report without any attempt to explain its fuller context, he let more than five hours pass before confirming, and only when asked, that Wilson did not know about the robbery when he encountered Brown.

The decision by the police department, which is overwhelmingly white, to release a report on the robbery while keeping details of the shooting secret only added to the frustration felt by many in the St. Louis area.

After identifying Wilson as the officer involved in the shooting, the Ferguson police chief described him as a “gentleman” who has been devastated by the incident. Wilson worked four of his six years as an officer on the Ferguson police force, Jackson said.

Wilson’s identity has been kept a secret since the shooting despite mounting pressure to both identify the officer and to provide details about the investigation.

A Brown family attorney said it appeared to be Brown in the convenience store’s security-camera footage, which showed a man shoving a store clerk during an apparent robbery.

Anthony Gray, a Brown family attorney, said the talk of a robbery was a “distraction” raised by police. He said the real issue was why Wilson shot an unarmed Brown as the teenager held his arms in the air in a sign of surrender, as two witnesses described.

In response to demonstrations that turned violent earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama said he asked the Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the killing independently.

The agencies on Friday said agents and attorneys had interviewed multiple witnesses and would seek information in the coming days from people who have not yet come forward.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."