Police identify officer, allege Missouri teen robbed store

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) -- Police on Friday identified the officer who fatally shot an unarmed black teenager and released documents alleging the young man had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a "strong-arm" robbery shortly before he was killed.

Darren Wilson is a six-year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department in suburban St. Louis who encountered Michael Brown shortly after a 911 call reporting the robbery, Police Chief Thomas Jackson said. He released no other details about Wilson or his employment record and refused to take questions from reporters.

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.

"It's bad enough they assassinated him, and now they're trying to assassinate his character," Crump said.

An attorney for the teen who was with Brown on the day of the shooting said his client has acknowledged to investigators that Brown took cigars from the store.

Wilson has been on administrative leave since the Aug. 9 shooting.

At 11:51 a.m. that day, police records show, authorities received a 911 call reporting a robbery at the Ferguson Market. An unidentified officer was dispatched to the store, arriving within three minutes. The officer interviewed an employee and customer, who gave a description of a man who stole the cigars and walked off with another man toward a QuikTrip store.

Descriptions of the suspect were broadcast over the police radio. The officer did not find the suspects either on the street or at the QuikTrip, the reports said.

The robber took a box of Swisher Sweets Cigars valued at $48.99, according to the reports. The suspects were identified as 18-year-old Michael Brown and 22-year-old Dorian Johnson.

Separately, Wilson had been responding to a nearby call involving a sick 2-month child from 11:48 am until noon, when he left that place. A minute later, he encountered Michael Brown walking down Canfield Drive. The documents contained no description of what happened between Brown and Wilson.

Crump noted that police did not release a photo of the officer but released images from the store's security video that they say show Brown grabbing a man inside the store. Crump said he had not seen the photos.

Police "are choosing to disseminate information that is very strategic to try to help them justify the execution-style" killing, said Crump, who also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the teenager fatally shot by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder.

The Aug. 9 video appears to show a man wearing a ball cap, shorts and white T-shirt grabbing a much shorter man by his shirt near the store's door. A police report alleges that Brown grabbed the man who had come from behind the store counter and "forcefully pushed him back" into a display rack.

Johnson, Brown's friend, told investigators that Brown "did take cigarillos," his attorney, Freeman Bosley, told MSNBC. Bosley said he was aware of video but had not seen it.


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