Ferguson- “The officer who was involved in the shooting of Michael Brown was Darren Wilson…” Those were the words shared at a news conference Friday morning by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson. For days, Ferguson police had been criticized for refusing to share the name of the officer involved in the shooting of Michael Brown.
That shooting has sparked outrage and riots. Chief Jackson said earlier that at the time of the shooting on Saturday, the officer was on a routine patrol when he encountered Brown and a friend walking in the street. Authorities have said that a scuffle ensued after the officer asked the teens to move to the side. Witnesses have said Brown’s hands were raised when he was shot multiple times.
According to Washington Post reporter, Wesley Lowery, none of those issues were discussed at Friday’s news conference. “Things we weren’t told: anything about interaction between Officer Wilson – a six year vet – and Michael Brown.”
For his part, Lowery became a part of the story in Ferguson on Thursday when he was arrested along with a reporter from the Huffington Post. Lowery of the Washington Post, and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post tweeted that they had been arrested “while they were doing work” inside of the McDonald’s and were released about 45 minutes later without being charged.
SWAT just invade McDonald's where I'm working/recharging. Asked for ID when I took photo. pic.twitter.com/FOIsMnBwHy
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) August 13, 2014
Reilly explained on Twitter that he and Lowery had been arrested “for ‘not packing their bags quick enough'” when police were shutting down the McDonald’s. Reporters have been using the McDonald’s a few blocks from the scene of Michael Brown’s shooting as a staging area. Demonstrations have blown up each night nearby. But inside there’s WiFi and outlets, so it’s common for reporters to gather there.
Reilly wrote in a Facebook post about the incident that a police officer dressed “in full riot gear” had “purposefully banged my head against the window on the way out and sarcastically apologized.” Lowery — who managed to record part of his interaction with the police — published his account on the Washington Post where he notes that officers slammed him “into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser.”
Gawker writes that the Ferguson police chief told journalist Matt Pearce that the arresting officer was “probably somebody who didn’t know better.”