Threats delay release of officer's name

FERGUSON, Mo. – Timothy Zoll, spokesperson for the Ferguson Police Department, has confirmed to NewsChannel 5 they will not release the name of the officer who fired the fatal shots at 18-year-old Michael Brown Saturday afternoon.

On Monday, Chief Thomas Jackson told NewsChannel 5 he would release the officer's name by noon Tuesday.

The chief says it's just too dangerous, he fears releasing the officer's name now could risk the lives of the officer and his family.

It is still a very tense situation in Ferguson. Protesters have been standing near the Ferguson police station for most of the day, calling for justice for Mike Brown.

At one point, Ferguson Police came over to take a report of a white man, who stopped his car to yell racial slurs at the group.

On the other end, the chief said the police station continues to get calls of death threats, it's also on social media as is the name of at least one officer some are identifying as the one involved in the shooting.

Chief Tom Jackson says the name circulating is wrong, but now the cop is getting death threats.

It's because of this atmosphere that he says he is within the law to withhold the real officer's name, although the lawyer for the Brown family is pushing for the name to be released.

Protesters have been calling for the release of the name of the officer who shot Brown to death in Ferguson. Witnesses say Brown had raised his hands to surrender when the shots were fired. Police have not confirmed that information.

Zoll says the release is delayed because of threats made toward the officer on social media. He says there is no timetable for the release of the name, and the decision is up to Chief Jackson and city authorities.

"This is one of the instances where the value of releasing the name is far outweighed by the risk of harm to the officer and his family," said Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson.

Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the Brown family said, "If they were to release that name of the officer and show transparency, I think it would have helped a lot to go along with peace and people having trust and faith in the law enforcement officers."

Chief Jackson tells NewsChannel 5's Ryan Dean he won't release the name of the officer until he is directed by a judge or official charges are filed.


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