Black Voices

Ferguson Police Chief: Darren Wilson Did Not Know Michael Brown Was Suspect In 'Strong-Armed' Robbery

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said Friday the initial contact between 18-year-old Michael Brown and police officer Darren Wilson was not related to a convenience store robbery.

Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed by Wilson on Saturday, August 9.

In a press conference earlier on Friday, Ferguson police released a report naming Brown as the main suspect in a convenience store robbery where a box of Swisher Sweets cigars valued at $48.99 was stolen and a clerk was allegedly shoved.

Video of the incident allegedly showing Brown, which was released to the public, "had nothing to do with the stop" and was "unrelated" to Wilson's contact with Brown, Jackson said. He said video of the convenience store incident was released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.

"The initial contact between Darren Wilson and Mike Brown was not related to the alleged theft of cigars," Jackson said, indicating Wilson did not know Brown was a suspect in the robbery.

Jackson said Wilson was in the area "coming off a sick case," and initiated contact with Brown because the teenager was "blocking traffic, that's it."

When asked about Wilson, Jackson said he is "a gentleman, a quiet officer" who found the incident "devastating."

"He never intended for any of this to happen," Jackson said.

See more updates on the situation in Ferguson below: