*In a press conference Friday afternoon, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson admitted that the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown didn’t know the unarmed black teen was a robbery suspect at the time of the shooting.
Earlier Friday, Jackson released documents alleging the 18-year-old had been suspected of stealing a $48.99 box of cigars from a convenience store in a “strong-arm” robbery shortly before he was killed.
During the afternoon news conference Jackson said the robbery “was not related to the initial contact” between the officer and Brown on Saturday. He reiterated that Brown and Dorian Johnson were stopped because they were “walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic. That was it.”
Asked why the surveillance video was released at the same time the officer’s name was revealed, Jackson would only say he “had been sitting on the tape” but after multiple media requests, was forced to release it under the Freedom of Information Act.
Brown and Johnson were suspected of taking a box of cigars from a convenience store in Ferguson that morning, according to police reports. Jackson said Wilson went to the area after a 911 call reporting a “strong-arm” robbery just before noon. He said a dispatcher gave a description of the robbery suspect, and Wilson, who had been assisting on another call, was sent to investigate.
Wilson, a six-year veteran of the police department, encountered Brown just after 12:01 p.m., with a second officer arriving three minutes later, Jackson said.
Watch Chief Jackson’s press conference below: