Ferguson fuming as police release officer’s name and criminal case against Michael Brown

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FERGUSON, Mo. (CNN) -- Police named the officer involved in the shooting of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown on Friday, then released documents containing a bombshell: The 18-year-old was the "primary suspect" in the robbery of a convenience store moments before he was killed.

The release of Darren Wilson's name satisfied a key demand of protesters and critics of the handling of the case by the Ferguson Police Department.

However, the claim that Brown was involved in a strong arm robbery immediately met with skepticism among some in the community, who have accused Ferguson police of attempting a cover-up to protect the officer.

One resident interviewed by CNN said police are "tarnishing this young man's name."

"Anyone could walk in the store and they could get surveillance and take a picture," the woman said. "I don't see that he's robbing the store. I just see a picture of a young man."

On Twitter, community members and activists expressed disappointment and outrage.

"How can they not release info on the shooting but link #MikeBrown to robbery. Shame on them," @NafisMWhite tweeted.

Ferguson's police chief addressed the crowd and reporters.
Ferguson's police chief addressed the crowd and reporters.

Initially it was understood that Wilson, a six-year veteran of the department, was responding to that robbery call when he encountered Brown.

However, a few hours later, during a 2 p.m. news conference Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said Wilson's "initial contact was not related to the robbery."  Wilson first noticed Brown because he was "walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic," the city's police chief said Friday.

Jackson said he was required to release the surveillance video after so many Freedom of Information requests were filed by the media and others.

Additionally, Michael Brown's family expressed outrage at the release of the video and pictures related to the robbery.

According to the documents, Brown roughly handled a clerk trying to stop him before walking out of the store with a box of Swisher Sweets cigars, worth about $48.99. The documents claim Brown roughly handled the clerk who was trying to stop him from walking out of the store with the cigars.

The unidentified police officer who wrote the incident report on the robbery said he identified Brown by comparing surveillance images of the incident to the body of the slain teen.

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In light of the robbery allegations, the release of Wilson's name is unlikely to quell protests in the city and elsewhere over the death of an unarmed African-American man at the hands of a police officer.

A key complaint of protesters has been that witnesses say the officer shot Brown as he stood with his hands in the air.

Police have said the shooting occurred during a struggle for the officer's gun.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who had earlier put the State Highway Patrol in charge of protest security after a series of tense clashes between local police and protesters, applauded the release of the new details.

"I'm pleased that the people of Ferguson and the region began to get some long-overdue information today, and I will continue to call for openness and transparency as the parallel investigations into this tragedy proceed to their necessary conclusions," he said in a statement.

"For the sake of the family, the citizens of Ferguson and the entire region, it is vital that the investigations into the shooting death of Michael Brown move forward in a thorough, open and transparent manner to ensure that trust is restored and justice is done," he said.

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