The parents of Michael Brown on Friday urged demonstrators attending events to mark the two months since their son was killed by police to protest “peacefully and lawfully,” in an attempt to tamp down the violence that erupted after the unarmed teen's death.
“We understand first-hand the powerless frustration felt by people of all walks of life regarding their interactions with law enforcement. And for that reason, as Michael Brown's parents, we ask that those coming to show support for our son do so within the law,” Michael Brown Sr. and Lesley McSpadden said in a statement released by their attorney.
A weekend of protests in Ferguson and St. Louis is planned to mark the two months since Brown, 18, who is black, was fatally shot by a white Ferguson police officer on Aug. 9. His death ignited weeks protests that spiraled into looting and clashes by police, who were criticized by what some saw as a heavy-handed response that included armored vehicles and tear gas being deployed against crowds.
Tensions in the area were further heightened on Wednesday, after a black 18-year-old was shot dead by a St. Louis police after authorities said he fired at at the officer. The shooting also sparked protests, and on Thursday night police used pepper spray on crowds and arrested eight people in the Shaw neighborhood.