Police Chief: 'Outside Agitators' Causing Missouri Riots

Wednesday, 13 Aug 2014 11:29 PM

By Greg Richter

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Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson says he thinks "outside agitators" are causing the violence in his city after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown Jr.

Brown was killed Saturday by a Ferguson police officer, and the killing has sparked protests since.

Most of the protests have been peaceful, Jackson said Wednesday on Fox News Channel's "Hannity," but said he understands that members of the community want answers.

The chief says the conflict began when Brown struggled with the officer for his gun. Other witnesses deny that, saying the officer, unprovoked, fired more than 10 shots at Brown, who had his hands raised above his head in surrender before the final shots were fired.

Jackson has turned the investigation over to another agency. He said he doesn't want to comment on the facts before the investigation is complete, but said he does believe the officer's account that the first shot was fired inside the police car.

In an earlier interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Jackson said he wanted to get to the truth and was compiling interviews with witnesses.

The officer involved in the shooting suffered wounds to his face and was taken to an emergency room for treatment afterward.

"It's a devastating thing to take a life under any circumstances, and so he's going to have to deal with that," Jackson told CNN. "He's very shaken about what happened that day and the aftermath."

Jackson addressed allegations that his police force, which has 50 white and three black officers, is racist. The city of Ferguson is majority black.

Jackson said he has worked toward increasing the diversity of the department since he took over and will continue to do so. He noted, however, that the department often loses officers to higher-paying departments.

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