Mike Brown's family, along with their attorneys, released a statement on Friday (August 15), hours after the police both identified the officer responsible for Saturday's shooting and named Brown as a suspect in a robbery from earlier in the day.
Read the statement in full below, via one of the family's lawyers, Benjamin Crump:
Michael Brown’s family is beyond outraged at the devious way the police chief has chosen to disseminate piece mil information in a manner intended to assassinate the character of their son, following such a brutal assassination of his person in broad daylight.
There is nothing based on the facts that have been placed before us that can justify the execution style murder of their child by this police officer as he held his hands up, which is the universal sign of surrender.
The prolonged release of the officer’s name and then the subsequent alleged information regarding a robbery is the reason why the family and the local community have such distrust for the local law enforcement agencies.
It is no way transparent to release the still photographs alleged to be Michael Brown and refuse to release the photographs of the officer that executed him.
The police strategy of attempting to blame the victim will not divert our attention, from being focused on the autopsy, ballistics report and the trajectory of the bullets that caused Michael’s death and will demonstrate to the world this brutal execution of an unarmed teenager.
Despite the police naming Brown as a suspect in a robbery shortly before he was shot over the weekend, the Ferguson police chief said on Friday that the officer, Darren Wilson, was not responding to that alleged incident.
“The initial contact between the officer and Mr. Brown was not related to the robbery,” Thomas Jackson said, according to the Washington Post.
There are conflicting reports on what exactly happened before Wilson fatally shot the 18-year-old, but in a news conference on Friday, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the confrontation occurred because Brown and a friend "blocking traffic."
An eyewitness, Tiffany Mitchell, said she saw Brown surrender before he was shot. "As I pull onto the side, the kid, he finally gets away, he starts running. As he runs the police get out of his vehicle and he follows behind him, shooting," Mitchell told MSNBC. "And the kid's body jerked as if he was hit from behind, and he turns around and puts his hands up like this, and the cop continued to fire until he just dropped down to the ground and his face just smacks the concrete."
Also on Friday, a Rolling Stone reporter uncovered a series of tweets from a user @TheePharoah that seem to indicate he witnessed the shooting, with the timestamps lining up to the alleged unfolding of events.