Ferguson Police Ask Protesters to Disperse Before Nightfall

Ferguson police today urged protesters demonstrating about the death of unarmed teen Michael Brown to only protest during the daytime and disperse before nightfall.

The statement came after three nights of clashes between Ferguson police and protesters in which cops fired rubber bullets and tear gas and ordered residents to go back into their homes.

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"We ask that any residents wishing to assemble in prayer or in protest do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner," a statement from the police department said. "We further ask that all those wishing to demonstrate or assemble to disperse well before the evening hours to ensure the safety of the participants."

Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson told ABC News today he would march with civil rights leaders this afternoon to show support for the protesters and emphasize their right to demonstrate.

He also said that the police had only used tear gas and rubber bullets when protests had turned violent on recent nights.

The shooting death of Brown, 18, has sent the town roiling, with many residents demanding a full, transparent investigation into why an officer fired multiple shots at an unarmed teenager. Brown's family, the NAACP, and the Rev. Al Sharpton have all demanded the police identify the officer involved.

Jackson was adamant, however, that he would not release the name of the officer who shot Brown due to concerns for the officer's safety. Even if Brown's family began to take legal steps to have the name made public, "there's the appeal process," Jackson told ABC.

Jackson said today that the name of a different officer had been circulated on social media as the identity of the shooter, and Jackson had to move that officer and his family out of Ferguson to protect them. Jackson himself has received death threats, including a "nice young woman's voice" telling him "I want you to die."

The FBI is investigating Brown's death. The shooting happened following a fight with the officer, police said. Witnesses say the officer shot after Brown raised his hands.

The officer who shot Brown has been placed on administrative leave.

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