Police Release Officer's Name After Calmer Night In Ferguson

With state police in charge of the police presence in Ferguson, protests over the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown were largely nonviolent.

Police Release Officer's Name After Calmer Night In Ferguson
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A much different look overnight in Ferguson, Missouri, as a hometown man replaced the former command and officers in standard uniforms took over for police in riot gear.

The Ferguson police chief also announced Friday morning he'd release the name of the officer who shot unarmed teen Michael Brown last Saturday — a move planned for earlier in the week that was canceled when police received threats of violence.

CHIEF THOMAS JACKSON, FERGUSON POLICE CHIEF VIA CBS: " ... was Darren Wilson. He's been a police officer for six years. He's had no disciplinary action taken against him. He was treated for injuries, which occurred on Saturday."

Although Chief Thomas Jackson implied Officer Darren Wilson was hurt during his contact with Brown, he didn't describe those injuries. Ferguson Police also released surveillance video of what they called a nearby "strong-arm robbery" that happened just before Brown was killed.

Jackson didn't give a reason for releasing that particular video except reporters requested it under the Missouri state open records law. The implication, however, seemed to be Brown — whom his family described as a good and kind-hearted kid — at least resembled a suspect police were looking for.

Reporters at the press conference immediately started sending out tweets on the packets handed out at the press conference. They show Brown was the primary suspect in the robbery, during which the person in the surveillance videos pushed and intimidated a store clerk before walking out with cigars the suspect didn't pay for.

We still don't know the circumstances of the actual shooting.

​With differing accounts on how Officer Wilson killed Brown and whether the shooting was justified, St. Louis stations like KTVI documented protests in the St. Louis suburb as they turned violent. Police used tear gas and rubber bullets in what many civic leaders called a heavy-handed response.

JOE HARRIS, AL JAZEERA CONTRIBUTOR: "You could cut the tension in the air with a knife. It was just a matter of when — not if — something would happen. Last night was completely different."

The headlines from both local stations and national media outlets Friday morning showed a much calmer night in Ferguson.

The face of that change is a man who grew up there, Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson.

CAPT. RON JOHNSON VIA KMOV: "Say what you've got to say, but just do it in peace. Just do it in peace."

Appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon earlier in the day to take over the police presence in Ferguson, Johnson walked with protesters Thursday afternoon.

But some were quick to caution that calm didn't necessarily mean quiet.

DON LEMON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: "Just because the protests overnight were not violent — all that they really had were some fireworks — that doesn't mean that the issues have been addressed here."

The point remains protesters still want to know what happens over Brown's shooting moving forward.

While the FBI is conducting its own investigation, Brown's death and the police response to the protests that followed created a larger debate on the militarization of local police departments.

​The night in Ferguson did have two incidents police responded to, a woman shot in the leg and a fight at a McDonald's near protest sites. While police said some people at the McDonald's hit officers with rocks, no one was arrested.

This video contains images from Getty Images.