Police in Ferguson, Mo., this morning released stills from a video that they said shows 18-year-old Michael Brown strong-arming a smaller, older man during a robbery inside a convenience store shortly before Brown was fatally shot Saturday by a town police officer.
Police said the video shows Brown as he grabs the store employee by the shirt front with his left hand, “aggressively pulls [the clerk] in close to him and then immediately pushed him back into a display rack.”
The police department released a video of the robbery this afternoon.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson earlier today identified the officer who shot Brown as six-year veteran Darren Wilson.
Briefing reporters, Jackson said Brown was a suspect in a convenience store robbery that occurred just before the shooting. Included in the packet given to reporters, but not mentioned by Jackson, were the four stills that show a large black man, identified by police as Brown, roughing up, shoving and then advancing on a man in a store.
According to an incident report filed by Ferguson police, Brown was in the process of stealing a box of Swisher Sweet cigars when the confrontation occurred. Cigars of this type often are hollowed out and the tobacco replaced by marijuana.
Police said Wilson was responding to a report of a strong-arm robbery when he saw Brown and another man on the street. One of the men pushed Wilson back into his cruiser and continued to assault him.
The two then struggled over Wilson’s gun, police said. After a shot was fired inside the vehicle, the altercation moved into the street. Brown was shot several times. Witnesses said Brown was not armed.
In the days after Brown’s death, the St. Louis suburb became the scene of violent protests and looting. Attorney General Eric Holder instructed the Department of Justice’s civil rights division to step in; the FBI also is looking into the case. Calm appeared to return last night after the Missouri Highway Patrol took control of Ferguson’s streets.