FERGUSON, MISSOURI: It took nearly a week for Ferguson, Missouri, police to release the name of the officer – Darren Wilson – who shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown last Saturday.
The police department has faced criticism at home and from members of the media for not releasing the identity of the officer until Friday. However, the situation in Ferguson calmed considerably Thursday night after Governor Jay Nixon put Missouri’s Highway Patrol in charge of the town’s security, relieving local authorities.
The police report was also released on Friday. It alleged Brown was trying to shoplift cigars before he was shot to death. Many took to Twitter to express their frustration over what they called the department’s efforts to detract from the shooting.
When you look up Darren Wilson, you get pictures of alleged robbery instead. That's not an accident. pic.twitter.com/izG3BPLPTl— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 15, 2014
INBOX: Statement from Ben Crump, attorney for Brown family pic.twitter.com/ezci6cD0dl— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 15, 2014
Capt. Ronald Johnson criticizes Ferguson police chief press conference, says alleged robbery separate from shooting. pic.twitter.com/4PMGFx1MKJ— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) August 15, 2014
Some noted that criminals from convicted murderers to petty thieves receive due process.
It did not go unnoticed that Brown’s autopsy report has not been released.
Many were unconvinced of the severity of Brown’s alleged crime.
Let's assume for a second Mike Brown committed a robbery. Let's assume he threatened the convenience story owner. If that's true <1/2>— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 15, 2014
*and* 3 eye witness accounts of how he was killed are true, Wilson should still be charged. <2/2>— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) August 15, 2014
Not handed out: a use of force report, any police report written by Officer Wilson, any narrative of shooting— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) August 15, 2014
Others had a contrarian opinion on the police department’s decision to wait until Friday to release more information about the case.
This may not be popular sentiment, but local police showed real restraint in not releasing alleged robbery info before now. 1/2— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) August 15, 2014
A Giuliani-style police department, facing criticism, would have likely blasted that out to paint shooting victim as bad apple 2/2— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) August 15, 2014
This post was updated on August 15 to correct Brown's age. He was 18 years of age, not 16.