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Calls for death erupt on Twitter after police name officer in Ferguson shooting

Protests turn into rioting and looting in Ferguson, Mo.
Protests turn into rioting and looting in Ferguson, Mo.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

On Friday, police identified Darren Wilson as the officer who shot 18-year-old Michael Brown, sparking days of violent protests. Shortly after the announcement, Twitter erupted with the obligatory calls for death.

"[D]arren [W]ilson deserves to die," one person said. Others made their feelings known on Twitter using the hashtag "#killdarrenwilson."

According to ABC, officials have moved Wilson and his family from the town as a safety precaution. Nevertheless, the "Twitter lynch mob," as it has become known, made it clear they want Wilson dead.

"Hope they kill that guy," one person said. "[H]e deserves it."

"Darren Wilson Is a Dead Man Walking," another Twitter user added. Others said anyone with Wilson's name on social media sites would be targeted by those seeking vengeance.

According to authorities, Wilson is a six-year veteran of the police force. Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said he has no history of disciplinary action. According to Jackson, Wilson was responding to a robbery call at a nearby convenience store minutes before the shooting. Jackson did not name the suspect in that robbery. Police have said that Brown was shot during a struggle for the officer's gun, but others said Brown's arms were raised when he was shot.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon told ABC he believes releasing Wilson's name would help in the healing process. It also meets a key demand set by activists with the New Black Panther Party and others.

"I was pleased to hear the chief indicate this would be a day in which, finally, that initial name would come out, and we’ll work to make sure that his family [is safe] and there’s security around that," he told ABC News. "I think those kinds of concrete steps of transparency leading to justice are vitally important now to heal the old wounds that have been made a fresh by this difficult and horrific situation."

“We’re learning and we’re moving forward," Jackson said earlier. "This all starts now to heal, to just make things better.”

But some don't want to heal, judging from the tweets we uncovered. Some, it appears, want revenge.

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