ST. LOUIS (AP) — The police chief in the St. Louis suburb where an officer fatally shot an unarmed teenager said Wednesday that cyber-attacks on his city’s website won’t sway him into releasing the officer’s name.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said someone burrowed into the website and shut it down for much of Monday, two days after 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed. The death has stoked racial tension, protests and a night of looting, along with calls for police to release the officer’s name so his background can be reviewed.
An anonymous global group of activists and hackers had pledged to create mischief with Ferguson’s city computers if the name wasn’t released. But Jackson said releasing the information could endanger the officer, who has received numerous death threats.
Jackson said he was unaware whether the hackers obtained any personal information about police officers from the website. Ferguson, a predominantly black city of roughly 21,000 residents, is about 10 miles northwest of St. Louis.
Investigators have released few details, saying only that a scuffle unfolded after the officer asked Brown and another teen to get out of the street, and that the officer’s weapon fired at some point inside a patrol car. Witnesses say Brown had his hands raised when the officer repeatedly shot him.