Police have denied that the name of an officer tweeted by the hacktivist group Anonymous was the one who shot high school graduate Michael Brown, whose death sparked the protests in St Louis, Missouri.
The group, which has numerous Twitter accounts, had told The Huffington Post that it had the name from early on Wednesday but had undertaken extensive checks "to be absolutely positive it is correct."
"There have been instances in the past where anons have released erroneous dox," the Anonymous member “katanon" said in an interview with HuffPost Tech.
“Personally, I would like nationwide protests and the issue to not be swept under the rug yet again,” the member said. "‘Just another dead black kid’ is getting very, very old.”
But the Washington Post reported that St Louis County Police said that the name was inaccurate.
The officer, who HuffPost UK is not naming, was linked to the death of Brown, 18, who was shot and killed as he walked with a friend near his home. Police allege Brown attempted to steal the officer's gun, but his friend maintains Brown made no such attempt, and even put his hands up, making it clear he was unarmed.
Police have said they will not release the name of the officer in question, citing threats against his family, going back on an original pledge to name him. In response, hackers posted the home address and phone number of St Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar and have threatened to release the same information about his daughter.
The group have threatened to release the address of the officer it accuses of shooting Brown.
A YouTube video demanding new legislation to “set strict national standards for police conduct and misbehaviour,” and threatening to release personal emails of all members of the police department and take local government websites offline. The city’s email system went down on Sunday night.
Protests have swelled since the shooting, and on Wednesday police came armed with tear gas, rubber bullets, heavily-armed SWAT teams and mine-resistant vehicles to repel protesting crowds.
The Huffington Post US, who had reporters at the scene, described how mostly peaceful protesters, many of whom were symbolically holding their hands in the air, were met with tear gas and smoke bombs fired so regularly that several reporters on scene said it was hard to breathe.
HuffPost reporter Ryan J Reilly and Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery were detained and claim to have been assaulted by police, after officers surrounded and invaded a McDonalds where the two journalists were working and ordered them to leave.
"They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible," Reilly said.
The Huffington Post has released a statement saying that the treatment of our reporter shows that "police militarisation has been among the most consequential and unnoticed developments of our time."Suggest a correction