POLITICS
08/16/2014 07:19 pm ET Updated Aug 19, 2014

Missouri State Senator On Michael Brown Killing: Theft Does Not Equal Death

The Missouri state senator who was tear-gassed while demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri, over the police killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown, protested the injection of Brown's alleged robbery prior to his death into the debate over whether Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson's actions were justified.

Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D), who represents parts of Ferguson, said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday, "It doesn't matter if Michael Brown committed theft or not. That's not the issue. The issue is what happened when Darren Wilson encountered Michael Brown, and when he died -- when he was killed. Those are the only facts that are necessary."

Chapelle-Nadal, who has been critical of Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's (D) handling of events in Ferguson, went on, "You need to know what happened in their first encounter, and between that, and when Michael Brown was shot," adding "If someone is an alleged thief, that does not equal a shooting, it doesn't equal death."

Watch Chappelle-Nadal's interview with The Huffington Post above.

Chapelle-Nadal, has been critical of handling of events in Ferguson, holding police to account after she was tear-gassed while protesting, and venting her frustration with Gov. Jay Nixon's (D) role in the aftermath of the shooting, sending a Tweet of “FUCK you” to the governor on Thursday morning.

Law enforcement said on Friday that the 18-year-old Brown was the lead suspect in a strong-arm robbery of a box of Swisher Sweets cigars from a local convenience store. Authorities released surveillance photos and video, along with the identity of the officer involved in the shooting.

The community of Ferguson has been joined by the nation in their grief, anger, and demand for justice, after Michael Brown, an unarmed teen, was shot dead by a Ferguson police officer. Demonstrations have been near non-stop, some hostile. Civil rights groups have been pressing authorities for a complete investigation into the killing. On Saturday, Gov. Nixon announced that the FBI and Department of Justice officials were conducting their investigation into the killing of Brown.

The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly and Christine Conetta contributed to this story.

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