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The difficulty of investigating the Michael Brown shooting

Aug 15, 2014

7bb18e7319 90346 small The difficulty of investigating the Michael Brown shooting  photo

Standing in the parking lot of a gas station which was burned during rioting, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson announces the name of the Ferguson police officer responsible for the August 9, shooting death of teenager Michael Brown on August 15, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri. The officer was identified as Darren Wilson, a six year veteran of the police department. Brown’s killing sparked several days of violent protests in the city.; Credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Police in St. Louis identified Darren Wilson as the officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose death sparked sustained protests in the Missouri suburb of Ferguson that at times turned violent. Wilson has been with the St. Louis police force for 6 years with a clean record. No other details were made available.

Police also released dispatch records, a surveillance video, and police documents on a strong-arm robbery that took place at a convenient store minutes before Brown was gunned down. Brown and a friend were suspected of stealing a box of Swisher Sweets Cigars.

Yesterday,the Missouri Highway Patrol took over security in Ferguson from the St. Louis County police after what many claimed as an overly aggressive show of force.

Without a video of the shooting, what kind of evidence would a prosecutor or an investigator need to determine whether excessive force was used, or whether the shooting of Brown was justified? How would the video surveillance factor into the investigation?

Guest:

Yamiche Alcindor, USA Today breaking news reporter who’s been covering the story from Ferguson, Mo. 

Laurie Levenson, Professor of Law, Loyola Law School

 The difficulty of investigating the Michael Brown shooting  photo

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