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Ferguson police chief: Michael Brown stopped for jaywalking, not robbery

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson talks to reporters.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson talks to reporters.
Michael B. Thomas / Getty Images News

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson on Friday said the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown was not aware that the unarmed 18-year-old was accused of robbing a convenience store just minutes before the shooting.

Jackson said that "the initial contact with Brown was not related to the robbery." Jackson also clarified that Darren Wilson, the officer who shot and killed Brown, wasn't even responding to a call about the robbery as initially reported. Wilson instead stopped Brown because he was jaywalking.

Jackson later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, after the initial stop, Wilson realized Brown could be the suspect of the robbery when he spotted the potentially stolen cigars in Brown's hand.*

Jackson also noted that Dorian Johnson, who was with Brown at the time of the shooting, wasn't believed by police to have been involved in the alleged robbery. (Johnson's attorney, however, says Johnson was involved.)

Earlier in the day, Brown's family accused the Ferguson Police of trying to justify the shooting by attacking Brown's character and tying him to the robbery.

Jackson said the media had asked for the robbery footage, and he was simply complying with their requests. "We've had this tape for a while," Jackson said. "We had to diligently review the information in this tape."

Jackson refused to directly answer questions as to why the robbery footage had to be released alongside the name of the officer who killed Brown.

Jackson also claimed the Ferguson Police has now released all available information related to Brown. "We've given you pretty much every bit of information we have now," Jackson said.

A separate agency, the St. Louis County Police Department, is conducting a criminal investigation into the shooting. Jackson said information about the investigation will not be released until it's completed.

To learn more about the protests in Ferguson, read the full explainer, Vox's timeline, and watch the two-minute video below:


*Update: Added new comments from Ferguson Police Chief Jackson, and changed the headline to more accurately reflect the new comments.