Word that the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer who fatally shot an unarmed African-American teenager is Darren Wilson sparked a flood of social media chatter Friday that erroneously claimed the shooter is a police officer with the same name who actually works for the nearby St. Louis police force.
Ferguson police Friday morning identified Darren Wilson as the officer who fatally shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown, 18, last weekend.
The announcement by Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson, which was preceded by a description of the events that led up to the shooting, comes after five days of the department refusing to reveal the officer's name, citing safety concerns amid several nights of violent protests.
The Ferguson officer, however, is not -- contrary to some Twitter photos and social media speculation -- the Darren R. Wilson of the nearby St. Louis police department, an African-American and president of the Ethical Society of Police. The Ethical Society of Police have released a statement confirming that.
Sgt. Darren R. Wilson is an 18-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department. The Darren Wilson who shot and killed Michael Brown is a six-year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department, not the St. Louis Police Department. He is also reportedly a white man.
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Here is a photo of Wilson, left, from the Ethical Society of Police Facebook page:
"Greetings community members of St. Louis, MO and all those across the nation. The Ethical Society of Police has been closely following the events surrounding the unfortunate police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. As a result of public outcry and a demand for justice, the Ferguson police officer's name was released and happens to be, Darren Wilson. The first thing we would like to assure the world is that this is a horrific coincidence. May I assure the world that this is not the President of the Ethical Society of Police's Sergeant Darren R. Wilson who is African-American, and happens to be an 18 year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department. I'm sure additional clarification statements will be released immediately. Thank you for your continued support."