Police Release Name of Officer in Fatal Shooting in Ferguson, Missouri
Aug 15, 2014, 6:58 AM ET
By ABC NEWS via Good Morning America
Police have announced the name of the officer who shot and killed an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri -- an incident that led to days of clashes in the streets of the St. Louis suburb.
Darren Wilson was revealed today as the officer who shot Michael Brown, 18, and officials have moved the six-year police veteran and his family from the town as a safety precaution.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said earlier that at the time of the shooting on Saturday, the officer was on a routine patrol when he encountered Brown and a friend walking in the street. Authorities have said that a scuffle ensued after the officer asked the teens to move to the side. Witnesses have said Brown's hands were raised when he was shot multiple times.
“We’re learning and we’re moving forward. This all starts now to heal, to just make things better,” Jackson told ABC News.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said that he thinks releasing the name of the officer involved in the shooting would help in Ferguson's healing process.
"I was pleased to hear the chief indicate this would be a day in which, finally, that initial name would come out, and we’ll work to make sure that his family [is safe] and there’s security around that," Nixon told ABC News. "I think those kinds of concrete steps of transparency leading to justice are vitally important now to heal the old wounds that have been made a fresh by this difficult and horrific situation."
Ferguson faced five consecutive nights of unrest and violence following Brown's shooting death. The teen, who authorities said was unarmed, had his hands raised when he was shot multiple times, at least two witnesses said.
There were peaceful protests on Thursday, after Nixon swapped local and county officers -- many wearing riot gear and point rifles at demonstrators -- for state highway patrol troopers. Capt. Ron Johnson, the leader of the highway patrol, walked side-by-side with demonstrators Thursday.
"This is my community. A lot of people I saw walking in this march are people that I know," Johnson said. "So the old saying, 'I've got a dog in this fight,' [is true]. I’ve got a big dog in this fight."