Devin Sean James, who is overseeing public relations for Ferguson after the Michael Brown shooting, once shot and killed an unarmed man, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. James, 32, began working for the city two weeks after Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson killed the unarmed 18-year-old Brown on Aug. 9. He has been handling media requests and overseeing Ferguson's public relations strategy, including arranging a video statement released yesterday, in which Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized to Brown's family.
Ferguson officials knew of James' conviction before they signed a contract with him, said Mayor James Knowles III. Knowles said James' story of coming out of gangs and drugs to found a company has been inspiring and has given city officials an invaluable perspective. James, who was convicted of reckless homicide in Shelby County, Tn., in 2006, said the shooting was in self-defense. The shooting was followed by a trial, then an appeal which was denied. In 2009, James was incarcerated at a work farm for 90 days. His probation ended in March. “I had a hard road, man,” James said.