After nearly one week of trampling the constitution and showing the world what militarized racism looks like, Ferguson Police finally released the name of Michael Brown’s shooter this morning. His name is Darren Wilson.
Earlier on Friday, CNN described the shooter as a six year veteran with no history of disciplinary action and a St. Louis resident, which Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson echoed in his address today.
Jackson began his statement by referencing a robbery that occurred at a convenience store on Saturday, August 9, the same day Brown was shot. According to Jackson, Wilson was at the scene of a sick call with an ambulance, he received the call about a "strong arm robbery" at a store and then "encountered" Brown. Several other police staff were called to the scene and Wilson was "treated for injuries." Jackson also noted that the ambulance handling the sick call "did respond to assess Michael Brown," which conflicts with video that does not show an ambulance present as Brown's body laid on the Ferguson street.
Jackson did not detail Wilson's encounter with Brown any further.
On Thursday, the hacktivist group Anonymous released the name of who they claimed was Brown’s killer but Ferguson police quickly denied the person worked for them. Twitter then shut down the Anonymous Twitter feed. Still, when a police officer commits shoots someone dead, leaves them in the street and then the corresponding police department closes ranks, refusing to release the most basic information, the Internet will start to dig around as we learned with the Boston bombings.
As for last night's protest surrounding justice for Mike Brown, the atmosphere shifted drastically after Governor Jay Nixon dismissed the St. Louis police from crowd control. Nixon called in the State Highway Patrol led by Captain Ronald Johnson, an African American St. Louis native, who took time to walk and talk with the crowd gathered to protest Thursday evening. He instructed any Ferguson police at the protest to remove their gas masks and generally created a friendly atmosphere for those who took to the streets while firmly discouraging any rioting or looting.
Strolling in uniform around the QuikTrip gas station, the march's epicenter, Johnson's presence — coupled with the lack of tanks, tear gas and rubber bullets no doubt — made for a calm night in the Missouri town.
Protestors organized themselves with talking points and even distributed snacks.
It is unclear what the next steps will be in Ferguson, but the nights of police shooting at the press and then dismantling their cameras seem to be over. It's a shame that it took nearly one week and the arrests of more than 400 people, including Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery and Alderman Antonio French to get here, but America might be on the road toward healing.