The police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, has apologized to the family of Michael Brown, saying he is “truly sorry” for the shooting nearly seven weeks ago that claimed the unarmed teenager’s life. In his apology made public Thursday, Police Chief Thomas Jackson focuses on Brown’s death and why his body was kept in the street for hours after being shot by Officer Darren Wilson:
I want to say this to the Brown family: no one else can know the pain that you feel. Personally, I am truly sorry for the loss of your son.
I am also sorry for the time it took to remove Michael from the street. You have every right to be angry and upset. The time that it took involved the completion of the work of the investigators to preserve physical evidence and determine the facts, but four and half hours was simply too long.
Please know that the investigating police never intended disrespect to Michael, to the Brown family, the Canfield neighborhood or the African American community. If that is the way it appeared to you or anyone else at the time, I personally apologize for that.
The mea culpa comes on the heels of renewed protests in Ferguson, as five people were arrested Tuesday night after a Brown memorial was destroyed by a fire. Before then, tensions in the St. Louis suburb had been easing since the Aug. 9 shooting that ignited a week of clashes between police and residents.
The Justice Department is investigating why Brown was fatally shot and allegations of civil rights abuses by the Ferguson Police Department. A grand jury is also deciding whether to indict Wilson on criminal chargers. Brown’s parents were in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to ask for a federal review of police misconduct. Their attorney said they hadn't seen the video yet and didn't have an immediate comment.
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