The Ferguson, Mo., police department has received death threats over the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown. Nevertheless, the Associated Press reported Wednesday, MSNBC host Al Sharpton is demanding the department release the name of the officer involved.
"The local authorities have put themselves in a position - hiding names and not being transparent - where people will not trust anything but an objective investigation," Sharpton said. According to the AP, he also called for peaceful protests by the NAACP.
Police Chief Tom Jackson originally planned to release the officer's name Tuesday, but backed off after death threats were called in to the police department and City Hall. The unnamed officer has been placed on administrative leave, and Jackson said it could be weeks before his name is released.
"If we come out and say, `It was this officer,' then he immediately becomes a target," he said. "We're taking the threats seriously."
According to reports, the hacker group Anonymous released the private information of St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and his wife and children. A police family in Florissant, Mo., was reportedly evacuated from their home after the group incorrectly identified the man as Brown's shooter. The organization also threatened to release the private information of every police officer in Ferguson if the riots are stopped, Jim Hoft said at the Gateway Pundit.
So far, three dozen people have been arrested after two nights of rioting. Protesters, the AP said, "have burned stores, vandalized vehicles, assaulted reporters and taunted officers." Other reports say protesters have thrown bricks from an overpass on Interstate 270.
Rioters have also shot at a police helicopter "multiple times," Time said, prompting the FAA to institute a no-fly zone. The order says the restrictions were put in place “to provide a safe environment for law enforcement activities.”