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Ferguson, Missouri, Police to Release Name of Officer in Fatal Shooting

ABC News(FERGUSON, Mo.) -- Police in Ferguson, Missouri, plan to release the name Friday of the officer who shot and killed an unarmed teen -- a shooting that sparked days of clashes in the streets of the St. Louis suburb.

Chief Thomas Jackson told ABC News that authorities will meet later Friday morning to figure out the best way to release the officer’s name. Police previously declined to identify the officer amid safety concerns.

“We’re learning and we’re moving forward. This all starts now to heal, to just make things better,” Jackson told ABC News.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon thinks releasing the name of the officer involved in the shooting on Saturday will help in Ferguson's healing process.

"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," Nixon told ABC News. "I think those kind 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."

Ferguson faced five consecutive nights of unrest or violence following the weekend shooting death of Michael Brown, 18. Brown, who was unarmed, had his hands raised when he was fatally wounded, at least two witnesses said.

Peaceful protests followed Thursday after Nixon swapped local and county officers -- many wearing riot gear -- for state highway patrol troopers. Capt. Ron Johnson, the leader of the highway patrol, walked side-by-side with demonstrators Thursday.

“This is my community. A lot of people I saw walking in this march are people that I know,” Johnson said. “So the old saying, 'I’ve got a dog in this fight,' [is true]. I’ve got a big dog in this fight."

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