Is Michael Brown a Robbery Suspect?

This certainly adds important context to the police shooting of Michael Brown, whose death sparked protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri: Brown “fit the description of a suspect in a strong-arm robbery that happened minutes” before Brown was shot, Fox News reports. That certainly explains why the police were on alert and searching for a suspect matching the description of the robbery suspect. And if Brown was indeed the robbery suspect, he probably was tense with the police officer who confronted him. Again, the police’s story, if I understand it correctly, is that Brown attacked the officer and attempted to take his gun. Now as ever, people should refrain from rushing to unwarranted conclusions; there’s still a great deal we don’t know about this case.

August 20 Update: This August 15 story from CNN is relevant: “The Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown didn’t stop him because he was suspected in a convenience-store robbery, but because he was ‘walking down the middle of the street blocking traffic,’ the city’s police chief [Thomas Jackson] said.” Does that mean the officer in question hadn’t even heard about the robbery, or that he’d heard about it and stopped Brown because he was in traffic? At any rate, Brown’s robbery may well explain his state of mind, and certainly him “walking down the middle of the street” is dangerous behavior for which a police response is appropriate.