Ferguson, Mo. police chief Tom Jackson now says that Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown last Saturday, realized after he stopped Brown and a friend in the street that he was responsible for a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store.
The new information, which Jackson provided to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, comes at the tail end of a day of turmoil and confusion — most of which was created by Jackson.
In his first Friday bombshell, at an early-morning press conference, Jackson first reported Wilson’s name. He also released an information packet that contained evidence that Brown had taken part in the strong-arm robbery mere minutes before he was shot.
But Jackson added new, important details in a second press conference about what the officer knew and when he knew it. He said that when Wilson stopped Brown and his friend, he was not aware that Brown was a suspect in the robbery.
But during a struggle with Brown, Wilson saw the cigars he had lifted from the convenience store and tied Brown to the crime, Jackson said, according to the Post-Dispatch.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is currently heading community relations efforts, confirmed Jackson’s claim telling CNN saying that the chief brought up the new wrinkle in a meeting in the afternoon.
The confusion and turmoil from Jackson is emblematic of how the department has handled the case from the start.
Jackson planned to release Wilson’s name on Tuesday, but reversed the decision, saying that the officer’s safety would be at risk.
In his second press conference on Friday, Jackson said that he only released the video of Brown’s strong-arm robbery after numerous freedom of information requests.