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Latest Protests In Ferguson, Mo., Don't Take Violent Turn


Let's sort through what we've learned today as police in Ferguson, Missouri have held a news conference about the shooting of an African-American teenager and the aftermath. NPR's Cheryl Corley is in Ferguson, Missouri. And, Cheryl, what are you learning?

CHERYL CORLEY, BYLINE: We're learning the name of the police officer involved in the shooting. Police Chief Thomas Jackson announced today that it was Darren Wilson. He is a 6-year veteran of the department. Don't know much more beyond that, but the name was released today.

INSKEEP: Now, what about the actual shooting incident itself? Is there any more information available now about how it came to be that this young man was walking down the street, got into an altercation with the officer and was shot?

CORLEY: The police released a timeline today and an incident report, which shows that at about noon, the police department received a 911 emergency call from a QuikTrip convenience store. The officer went there, he was on another call, went there and was told by the clerk that two men had come into the store and had pretty aggressively stolen some cigars from the store, that they had attempted to stop them, that didn't happen. So he gave a description about who came into the store. The police officer didn't see anybody matching that, went to canvas the neighborhood, came back to talk to the clerk again and then went out to canvas the neighborhood again. Presumably, he found Michael Brown, whom he thought matched that description when the incident occurred, when the shooting incident occurred.

INSKEEP: So the police are asserting there was an actual crime here and perhaps some reason for a police officer to be on alert. Is that the import in their minds at least, of this information?

CORLEY: Absolutely. The incident report calls it a strong-armed robbery. So there's some suggestion that, you know, they were in search of a robbery suspect.

INSKEEP: And are they asserting that Michael Brown in fact was the person who robbed the convenience store of some cigars?

CORLEY: Well, in the incident report they do name him. They name another suspect who they say was with Michael Brown at the time. So, yes, they are saying that it was indeed Michael Brown.

INSKEEP: OK, so more information available now in Ferguson, Missouri. That's NPR's Cheryl Corley. Cheryl, thanks.

CORLEY: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Cheryl Corley is a Chicago-based NPR correspondent who works for the National Desk. She primarily covers criminal justice issues as well as breaking news in the Midwest and across the country.

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