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The father of an unarmed black teen fatally shot by a white police officer in Missouri said Tuesday that his son’s character was "crucified" during the grand jury proceedings.
Michael Brown, Sr., made the comments a day after a grand jury decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9 in Ferguson.
"It lets me know how St. Louis is. It opens my eyes to let me know this is a racist state," Brown, Sr., told The Rev. Al Sharpton, host of MSNBC’s "Politics Nation," in his first comments after the decision. "I was upset. I didn’t understand. It just let me know that where we live is not where I thought."
Bob McCulloch, the St. Louis County prosecutor, described Brown's death as a tragedy but said the grand jury had found no probable cause for any of the charges it considered against Wilson, which included first-degree murder and the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Sharpton on Monday blasted St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch for his office’s presentation of evidence to the grand jury, his effort to “discredit” Brown at a news conference after the announcement, and his decision to reveal the decision after dark.
It has been hard on the family, hearing how their son allegedly acted during the encounter with Wilson.
"The only person that can really talk for him is me and his mom. At this point, you’re right, he can’t defend himself. He’s buried," Brown, Sr., said. "They crucified his character … the things that they’re saying, it’s just — it’s terrible.”
He also denounced the violence that has flared in some of the many demonstrations nationwide to protest the grand jury decision. Twelve buildings were burned in Ferguson and other stores were looted after the decision was announced.
"The things that are going on, that’s not my son," he said. "My son was a good guy, a quiet guy. In his name, I want to keep it on a positive note."