WASHINGTON -- Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Sunday criticized the Ferguson police for releasing a video allegedly showing Michael Brown robbing a convenience store before he was shot and killed.
Ferguson police released the video on Friday, reportedly ignoring a request from the Justice Department not to. Police Chief Thomas Jackson has acknowledged to reporters that the shooting death of Brown last week was not related to the robbery, calling into question why the video was released amid dual investigations by local authorities and the DOJ into the circumstances around Brown's death.
Appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Nixon said he and his staff were unaware that the video was going to be released.
"We certainly were not happy with that being released, especially in the way that it was," Nixon said. "It appeared to cast aspersions on a young man that was gunned down in the street. It made emotions raw."
The governor went on to say that the renewed unrest in Ferguson, the St. Louis suburb where Brown was killed by a police officer, was in part due to the police's decision to make public the details of the robbery. Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday that led to clashes between a small group of protesters and police.
On NBC's "Meet the Press," Nixon reiterated his disapproval of the decision to release the video.
"To attempt to in essence disparage the character of this victim in the middle of a process is not right. It’s just not right," he said. "And secondarily, it did put the community, and quite frankly the region and the nation, on alert again. These are old wounds. These are deep wounds in these communities. And that action was not helpful."
Nixon said he spoke to Ferguson police about the release of the video, but didn't say if there would be any punitive actions taken.
"We’ve had very serious discussions about that action and how much we thought that it was not the right way to handle the victim’s family," Nixon said, adding that he met with Brown's family. "They were deeply troubled, and when you see your son gunned down in the street and then you see a police chief begin an attempt to attack his character, that’s just not the way to operate."
08/26/2014 7:49 AM EDT
The Toll On Michael Brown's Family
USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor provides an intimate look at how Michael Brown's parents have been dealing with the loss of their son:
Phones constantly ring with reporters asking for interviews or family members offering support. Last week, as demands reached a tipping point, both parents moved into hotels to shield themselves.
In the days leading up to the funeral, Brown's mother continued to cry and spoke in whispers as she tried to explain her feelings.
"They say tomorrow is going to be the hardest day, but I think today was — just seeing my baby laying there, cold," Lesley McSpadden, 34, told USA TODAY. "It did something to my heart. It's too much. It's too much."
08/26/2014 7:44 AM EDT
New Audio Allegedly Captures Moment Michael Brown Was Shot
New audio has surfaced that allegedly captures the moment when Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot dead by Darren Wilson, a white police officer, on Aug. 9.
CNN aired the unverified recording on Monday night. Six shots can be heard, followed by a pause, then several more. A private autopsy performed on Aug. 17 at the request of Brown's family found that the 18-year-old was shot 6 times, including twice in the head.
08/25/2014 12:58 PM EDT
Al Sharpton: America, It's Time To Deal With Policing
08/25/2014 12:53 PM EDT
Al Sharpton: All Of Us Are Required To Respond
Rev. Al Sharpton: All of us are required to respond to this #MikeBrownfuneral— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) August 25, 2014
08/25/2014 12:48 PM EDT
Benjamin Crump: We Will Not Accept Three-Fifths Justice For Michael Brown
08/25/2014 12:28 PM EDT
Funeral Program Includes Tribute From Michael Brown's Parents
USA Today reporter, Yamiche Alcindor shares photo of program which includes tributes to Michael Brown from his mother and father
08/25/2014 12:22 PM EDT
Michael Brown's Stepmother: He Prophesied His Own Death
Stepmother of #MichaelBrown said the late teen "pretty much prophesied his own death and didn't realize it."— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) August 25, 2014