Ferguson police chief: 911 audio to be released 'shortly'
FERGUSON, Mo. – The Ferguson Police Department will release the audio of 911 dispatchers following the shooting death of Michael Brown "shortly."
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson admitted he didn't "have any updates" when he addressed the media Wednesday afternoon.
Jackson said the city's request for folks not to protest or hold vigils in the evening hours was being done out of security concerns. He said it was just that -- a request.
"I think it's a really good idea, because all the people that are marching and protesting, most of them are very peaceful. They have a very strong message they want to get out. They're looking for answers. I understand that. I understand the anger," he said. "But there are some people that come out and after dark it does get a little dangerous. So we think it's better for peaceful demonstrations to occur during the daylight."
As long as protestors are being peaceful, not blocking roads or causing a disturbance, Jackson said police will not attempt to disperse them.
The large police presence in the city will lessen as public disturbances and protests drop off.
Regarding the burning of a local QuikTrip during Sunday night's riot, Chief Jackson said he does not know why the building was targeted by looters.
Jackson dismissed rumors of a proposed curfew for the city. He is consulting the U.S. Department of Justice for ways to improve race relations in this divided community.
"They're making recommendations for us for training and things to work and get involved with the community that is at odds with us now to rebuild that trust and that relationship," Jackson said.
The police chief said a St. Louis County coroner's report has not been released due, in part, to concerns that releasing certain details--such as the exact number of gunshot wounds on Brown's body--could taint possible witness testimony.
According to Jackson, the Ferguson Police Department as cameras for police cars and officers to wear, but the department does not have the money to install them.
Meanwhile, Gawker Media posted what it claims is the dispatcher audio from that day, courtesy of the hacktivist group Anonymous. Chief Jackson said he has not listened to that audio and cannot confirm its authenticity. Typically, police have to contact lawyers whenever they receive a request for 911 audio, who then make sure all rules are followed. Chief Jackson apologized for the slow, grinding process of releasing that audio.
A photo purported to show the officer who shot Brown standing over his body also appeared on Anonymous' website. Jackson said the officer who shot Michael Brown was not in the picture, and that the officer was removed from the scene fairly quick. The officers who have been wrongly identified as the shooter, are not on the job and have taken a vacation.
Jackson reiterated that the department would not release the officer's name. He said the officer who killed Michael Brown was the only person who fired the gun, disputing claims that Brown wrestled the gun away momentarily and attempted to shoot the officer. The chief added that the officer in question was taken to the hospital to be examined for facial injuries. Jackson said one side of the officer's face was swollen.