Public Reacts With Skepticism to Ferguson Police Announcement of Officer Involved in Shooting

Ferguson police say Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown after robbery.

ByABC News
August 15, 2014, 11:54 AM

— -- The announcement by Ferguson police today that an officer named Darren Wilson was the one who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown and that the shooting happened after a nearby robbery were met overwhelmingly with anger and skepticism.

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson announced the name in a news conference this morning, nearly a week after the officer shot Brown on Saturday afternoon.

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Jackson prefaced the name announcement by describing a "strong-arm" robbery that had occurred a few minutes before the shooting at a nearby convenience store. A police report released to members of the media at the news conference described Brown as the suspect involved in the robbery, in which he allegedly took a box of cigars and grabbed and shoved a store clerk before leaving.

"This is the first reference we've heard that this was a strong-arm robbery," Laura Keys, who had come to the news conference to listen to the announcement, told ABC News. "Not a theft, but a strong-arm robbery. When I hear 'strong-arm robbery' I think that you went in and attacked people, ran off, used a weapon of some sort. So was Michael Brown's weapon his height? Was it his race, his skin tone?"

Others gathered at the news conference began yelling "No justice, no peace," a rallying cry of the protesters demanding justice from the Ferguson police since Brown was fatally shot.

Online, Internet users expressed widespread skepticism about the Ferguson Police Department's announcement about Wilson and the circumstance surrounding the robbery.

"That whole group needs to be gone," Keys, the bystander at the news conference, told ABC News. "The police chief, the mayor, they all need to be gone and that is what I'm calling for."

But not everyone was skeptical of the police announcement. Reddit user "kentucky_gentleman" said the new information may change his perception of the story.

“The kid still didn't deserve to be killed, but as more and more facts come out, it appears that the cop's actions might have been justified," he wrote. "I'll be interested in seeing how this new information affects the ongoing protests in Ferguson.”