Ferguson police chief Tom Jackson made a number of statements Thursday about officers’ militarized response to protests over the shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Most notably, he addressed the tear-gassing of an al-Jazeera news crew on Wednesday.
During the press conference, a female al-Jazeera reporter inquired why police hit her team with rubber bullets and tear gas. “We did not go past the police barricades, yet we found ourselves as a direct target,” she said.
“I don’t know who made that decision, but I will look into that,” Jackson responded. “The media is not a target.”
Police also arrested two reporters in Ferguson on Wednesday night.
Throughout the conference, reporters aggressively questioned Jackson, but he admitted no wrong-doing from his officers.
Tactical commanders on the ground made decisions, like throwing tear gas, Jackson explained. “It’s a crowd. If the crowd is getting violent, and you don’t want to get violent, get out of the crowd,” he later added.
Jackson also said that military-style vehicles will remain if protestors start throwing fire bombs, destroying property, or shooting guns.
Jackson reiterated his refusal to name the officer involved in Brown’s shooting. He said the department’s policy is to not release names until “someone has been formally charged.”
“We’re having some conversations about that today,” he added.
For that to happen, the prosecuting attorney will review the information and present it to a grand jury, Jackson explained.
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