Police officer in shooting of unarmed teen identified
Authorities have identified the police officer who shot and killed an unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.
The officer is Darren Wilson, a six-year veteran with no disciplinary history, reports the Washington Post.
The announcement was made by Ferguson police chief Thomas Jackson at a press conference on Friday morning (US time).
The victim, Michael Brown, was killed in broad daylight on Saturday, with witnesses and law enforcement providing conflicting accounts of how the 18-year-old lost his life.
Brown’s family and others had called for the release of the officer’s name, citing the need for transparency amid the unrest that followed his killing.
After nearly a week of angry confrontations between protesters and riot gear-clad local police, there was a marked shift to a calmer tone on Thursday after local forces were replaced by a small number of state police, led by a newly appointed black captain who mingled with the crowd.
The protests have cast a spotlight on racial tensions in greater St. Louis, where civil rights groups have complained in the past that police racially profiled blacks, arrested a disproportionate number of them and had racist hiring practices.
Two thirds of the town’s population of 21,000 are black while 50 of its 53-strong police force are white.
Sources: AFP, Reuters, Washington Post