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Killed Ferguson, Missouri, teen Michael Brown had a lengthy arrest record.

After Ferguson, Missouri teenager Mike Brown was shot and killed by a police officer on 9 August 2014, a great deal of information and speculation spread on the internet and in the media about the the incident and involved parties. As Brown, who had graduated high school just over a week earlier, was unarmed, public reaction to his death was both intense and polarizing.

Among the and most frequently repeated claims about Brown circulating in the weeks after he was killed involves his purported prior criminal behavior. Allegations ranged from simple, single-statement claims that Brown had been arrested and/or convicted of an array of crimes to a lengthy list of specific criminal counts with which the teenager had reportedly been charged and/or convicted.

As the rumors regarding Mike Brown's arrest record became more variable and extreme, local news outlets began to examine the claims. Brown had turned 18 only three months before his death, making the array of rumors far harder to verify due to the manner in which juvenile records are handled in the state of Missouri. On 3 September 2014, a judge heard several arguments from media outlets hoping to determine whether Brown had been arrested or convicted of any criminal acts prior to his 18th birthday in May 2014.

Cynthia Harcourt, the St. Louis County juvenile office's attorney, said that the "court of public opinion does not require the release of juvenile records," adding that "simple curiosity" was not an adequate reason to violate the privacy of Brown and his family.

Harcourt did provide the largest amount of information regarding Brown's legal history, noting that the nature of the crimes with which Brown had reportedly been involved would not necessarily have been protected by laws that shield minors from publicizing their criminal records:

Cynthia Harcourt, a lawyer for the juvenile officer of St. Louis County Family Court, said after the hearing that she could neither confirm nor deny the existence of a juvenile record for Mr. Brown. Missouri state law prohibits the records of most juvenile court proceedings from being released to the public. But she said Mr. Brown had no juvenile cases involving serious felony charges or convictions, including murder, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Those felony records would not be required to be confidential and would have been released, but none exist for Mr. Brown, Ms. Harcourt said.

Additionally, local news sources confirmed that Mike Brown was not facing any criminal complaints at the time of his death.

Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi
Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC and CEO of Portia Web Solutions. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.

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