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After nearly a week of protests in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting death of Mike Brown, police have finally identified the name of the police officer who shot the teen. Police had initially refused to release the officer’s name, but they have revealed that he is a veteran of the force.
Ferguson, Mo. Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced on Friday that the officer was Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran of the force, reports USA Today. During his career, Wilson has never faced disciplinary action.
Back on Tuesday, Jackson said he would not reveal Wilson’s identity out of safety concerns. However, he held a short press conference on Friday, but offered no further information on Wilson.
Jackson said that there was a robbery moments before Brown was shot on Saturday, but didn’t say if Brown was a suspect in the robbery.
UPDATE: Jackson did name Brown as a suspect in that robbery, which took place at a convenience store. He also showed images and video from surveillance tapes.
Brown was unarmed when he was shot and killed. Witnesses said he held his hands up and tried to surrender, but police have yet to corroborate that.
In the days since the shooting, Ferguson has been dominated by protests and the police have been widely criticized for their militarized response to peaceful protesters. President Obama even called for calm in the city and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said that police needed a different tone in their response. Nixon then put the Highway Patrol in control of security in Ferguson.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Thursday night was relatively calm in Ferguson.
“What's gone on here over the last few days is not what Missouri is about. It's not what Ferguson is about. This is a place where people work, go to school, raise their families, go to church,” Nixon said on Thursday. “But lately it's looked a little bit more like a war zone and that's unacceptable.”