Ferguson, Missouri, Police Chief Thomas Jackson apologized on Thursday to protestors and the parents of Michael Brown, the unarmed black teenager who was shot and killed by a white police officer in August, CNN reports.
Jackson’s apology comes two days after more violent protests erupted in the St. Louis suburb. Protestors reportedly attacked police and looted businesses, according to CNN.
Jackson apologized that police left Brown’s body in the street for four hours after the shooting, and for the fact that peaceful protestors felt that their constitutional right to protest was not protected by police.
Here’s the video:
And here’s the relevant portion of Jackson’s statement:
“I want to say this to the Brown family: No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you’re feeling. I’m truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street. The time that it took involved very important work on the part of investigators who were trying to collect evidence and gain a true picture of what happened that day. But it was just too long, and I’m truly sorry for that.
“Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community, or the people of Canfield. They were simply trying to do their jobs.
“There are many people who are upset about what happened in Ferguson and came here to protest peacefully. Unfortunately, there were others who had a different agenda. I do want to say to any peaceful protestors who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest: I am sorry for that. The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect. If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible and I am sorry.
“I’m also aware of the pain and the feeling of mistrust felt by some of the African-American community towards the police department. The city belongs to all of us and we are all part of this community. It is clear that we have much work to do.”
A grand jury has convened to decide whether to charge the officer who shot Brown. He was killed while he was walking down a street with a friend. The officer, Darren Wilson, reportedly stopped them for blocking traffic. Brown was reportedly shot soon after that, but the details of what happened are unclear.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol took over policing of the Ferguson protests after days of tense clashes between local police and demonstrators.
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