By RYAN GORMAN
St. Louis police fear for the safety of one of their officers after a rush to put a face to the name Darren Wilson mistakenly led many to believe the wrong man shot an unarmed teen.
Pictures of Sgt. Darren Wilson, a black 18-year veteran of the St Louis Police Department (SLMPD), were quickly circulated around social media in the frantic minutes after a Friday morning announcement naming 18-year-old Michael Brown's shooter.
The Darren Wilson who fatally shot Brown Saturday is a 28-year-old, white, six-year veteran of the Ferguson Police Department, not the widely-published President of the Ethical Society of Police in St. Louis.
Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson's vague press conference offering only a name and no other information – age, height, weight – about Brown's shooter led to mass confusion.
Protesters shouted for more info, reporters barked questions and other officials balked at the lack of disclosure while Jackson was hurried away surrounded by law enforcement.
"Things could have said differently," Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson told media gathered after the contentious announcement.
Johnson was placed in charge of Ferguson after Governor Jay Nixon relieved St. Louis County Police of their duty in the town following days of violent protests.
"If we're going to give answers, we can't give hints," said Johnson. "We need to give answers."
That lack of transparency has led to many people identifying the wrong man, and St. Louis officials are concerned for his life, according to KTVI.
- FOX2now (@FOX2now) August 15, 2014
Multiple reports from St. Louis media have suggested the department fears there may be retributions, and security has been put in place to protect Wilson and his family.
An AOL request for comment from the SLMPD has not yet been addressed.
Another Darren Wilson who happens to live in St. Louis took to Facebook to announce that he not either Sgt. Darren Wilson of the SLMPD or Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson.
"May I assure the world that this is not the President of the Ethical Society of Police's Sergeant Darren R. Wilson who is African-American, and happens to be an 18 year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department,' wrote Wilson.
"I'm sure additional clarification statements will be released immediately."
The world is waiting.
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