Cops: Michael Brown Was Robbery Suspect

    People line up in the street during a peaceful demonstration, as communities react to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri August 14, 2014. Missouri's governor Jay Nixon moved on Thursday to calm days of racially charged protests over the police shooting of Brown, an unarmed black teenager, naming the African-American captain of the Highway Patrol Ron Johnson to oversee security in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) - RTR42HTM

    Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    In an incident report released to the media on Friday, the Ferguson Police Department named Michael Brown as a suspect in a “strong-arm” robbery of a local convenience store on the day the unarmed teen was shot to death by an officer. In the report’s description of the suspect, a black heavy-set male is described as wearing khaki shorts, a white T-shirt (Brown was wearing similar clothing at the time of his death) and a Cardinals baseball cap (Brown was not wearing a hat when he was shot ). The report alleges that Brown stole a box of Swisher Sweet cigars from the convenience store, after which the store clerk tried to stop him. The suspect then grabbed the clerk by the shirt and “forcefully pushed him back into a display rack.”

    However, in an afternoon press conference, police chief Thomas Jackson said the two incidents (the robbery and Brown's death) were unrelated. The officer who shot Brown was unaware of the robbery, Jackson said—instead, he stopped Brown and a friend because "they were in the middle of the street, blocking traffic." 

    Darren Wilson has been identified as the police officer who shot Brown to death. Confusingly, the incident report released earlier on Friday quoted an officer saying he "responded to that scene and observed Brown. After viewing Brown and reviewing this video [of the convenience store robbery], I was able to confirm Brown is the primary suspect in this incident." Attorneys for Brown’s family released a statement Friday saying they are “beyond outraged.” “It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him,” they wrote.

    Read it at USA Today