Authorities released statements that only 31 people were arrested Monday night and into early Tuesday morning while protesting a police officer’s killing of unarmed teen Michael Brown, but NBC News claims that more than double that number were actually apprehended.
According to police records obtained by the news station, some 78 people were arrested, and most of them were from Missouri, which also conflicts with statements from the police attributing the violence to out-of-towners looking to start trouble.
NBC News reports that of the 78 arrested, 18 were from places outside Missouri, ranging from Brooklyn, N.Y., to San Diego. NBC News did note that the records it received were only from the St. Louis County Jail and that others arrested could have been detained at a different location.
The news of police officials underreporting the number of arrests comes after high scrutiny of the Ferguson Police Department for its handling of the case. Protesters and civil rights leaders demanded to know the name of the officer who shot Brown, but police initially refused to give the officer’s name, citing death threats.
Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson finally released Darren Wilson’s name on Friday, almost a week after the shooting. Jackson also took the press opportunity to share video footage of a man alleged to be Brown shoplifting cigars and shoving a clerk before leaving the store. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon blasted the department, claiming that releasing the footage while knowing that the incident played no role in the shooting death of Brown was an attempt to tarnish Brown’s character.
Read more at NBC News.