On Friday, minutes after the Ferguson, Missouri, police department released the name of the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown, Missouri Lieutenant Gov. Peter Kinder (R) said it is a “fair question” to ask why it took the police six days to release the new information.
Police also revealed that Brown was the prime suspect in a “strong arm” robbery at a convenience store before the incident, and Kinder said “people have the right, the right we will defend, to peaceably assemble in the streets.”
“But we do not decide these questions in the streets,” Kinder said on Fox News’s America’s Newsroom. “This is America. We have legal processes.”
He urged residents to allow the legal process to play out and not rush to any more judgments. After Brown was shot and killed over the weekend, residents have rioted, looted, and clashed with police, who have fired tear gas at the protesters and caused people to raise questions about how militarized local police forces are.
Kinder said he applauded St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch for deciding to take the case to a grand jury and noted that “everyone is delighted” with the arrival of the new commanding officer Ronald Johnson, who has “taken command of the situation on the street to great effect.”
“Let’s all step back and try to be calm,” he continued. “Take a deep breath. And let the process work.”
Kinder said that the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the killing and urged citizens to let the legal process “that is designed to protect the rights of everyone involved” play out. Kinder also said it was “praiseworthy” that Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to Brown’s parents and has not seen any indication that the Department of Justice has put “their thumb on the scales of justice,” like they have done in some previous cases, and hopes he does not see any biases going forward.