DOJ Reportedly Asked Ferguson Police Not to Release Robbery Video

When reporters asked Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson why he decided to release surveillance video of Michael Brown allegedly stealing cigars from a convenience even though he did not believe it was connected to the teenager’s shooting death by an officer later that day, he answered, “Because you asked for it.” But now it has come out that the federal Justice Department did not want the video to be released, telling the police there that it would only inflame racial tensions.

A law enforcement source told CNN that Ferguson police actually wanted to release the video one day earlier on Thursday, but held off because of objections by the Justice Department.

Following the release of the video, Jackson said that the officer who shot and killed Brown, Darren Wilson, did not know the teenager was a suspect in the “strong-arm robbery” when he first apprehended him for walking in the middle of the street. Later, he told CNN’s Don Lemon that Wilson may have made the connection between the earlier incident and Brown as he was stopping him.

A lawyer for Brown’s family called the release of the video a “sideshow” that was “aimed at denigrating” his clients’ son’s image. After a period of relative calm in the city Thursday night, protests and looting picked up on Friday night, perhaps as a result of the video’s release.

Watch video below, via CNN:

[Photo via screengrab]

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