Report: Ferguson Police Chief Lied About Michael Brown Surveillance Tape
When Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson distributed copies of the Michael Brown surveillance tape at a press conference on Aug. 15th, at the same time he released the name of the officer who was responsible for shooting Brown, most of us were suspicious.
When reporters asked about his release of the tape, Jackson told them that he was legally obligated to release the footage because members of the media had submitted an open records requests for it.
[su_center_ad]As it happens, that’s a lie.
According to documents obtained by TheBlot, Jackson misled the public and journalists when he claimed that he was forced to release surveillance footage that purported to show 18-year-old Michael Brown engaged in a strong-arm robbery at a convenience store hours before he was fatally shot by a police officer.
Another angle to that video surfaced recently which paints a different picture.
Jackson told reporters that he was legally obligated to release the tape because members of the media had submitted an open records requests for it, The Blot reports.
“We’ve had this tape for a while, and we had to diligently review the information that was in the tape, determine if there was any other reason to keep it,” Jackson told reporters. “We got a lot of Freedom of Information requests for this tape, and at some point it was just determined we had to release it. We didn’t have good cause, any other reason not to release it under FOI.”
When asked by a reporter why the agency would release the surveillance tape, even though it appeared to have nothing to do with the fatal shooting of the teenager, Jackson replied: “Because you asked for it.”
The Blot reports:
However, a review of open records requests sent to the Ferguson Police Department found that no news organization, reporter or individual specifically sought the release of the surveillance tape before police distributed it on Aug. 15.
Last month, TheBlot Magazine requested a copy of all open records requests made by members of the public — including journalists and news organizations — that specifically sought the release of the convenience store surveillance video. The logs, which were itself obtained under Missouri’s open records law, show only one journalist — Joel Currier with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — broadly requested any and all multimedia evidence “leading up to” Brown’s death on Aug. 9.
Other records that would have been subject to Currier’s request, including 9-1-1 call recordings and police dispatch tapes, have yet to be formally released by the agency.
The logs contradict Jackson’s claim that “a lot” of reporters had specifically “asked for” the robbery surveillance tape through open records requests before his agency released the footage. The documents raise more questions about why the video — which, by the chief’s own admission, was not related to the shooting death of a teenage — was released in the first place. “which, by the chief’s own admission, was not related to the shooting death of the teenager”
Darren Wilson has yet to file an incident report, which is required.
Jackson explaining that he ‘had to release’ the tape.
H/T: My buddy @TomCinmidlife with thanks.
Image: The Blot.