The stepfather of Michael Brown said Wednesday that his emotions "got the best of me" when he urged a crowd in Ferguson, Missouri, to "burn this bitch down" after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer for shooting his stepson to death.
In a statement obtained by NBC News, Louis Head, who is married to Brown’s mother, apologized to those "who read my pain and anger as a true desire for what I want for our community. It wasn’t."
Authorities are considering whether to charge Head for inciting a riot. Angry crowds burned buildings, looted stores and clashed with police on Nov. 24 after the grand jury returned its decision. St. Louis County police said they were aware of the statement but would not comment further.
"I was so angry and full of raw emotions, as so many others were, and granted, I screamed out words that I shouldn't have screamed in the heat of the moment," Head’s statement said.
The statement went on to criticize how authorities handled the grand jury announcement:
But to place blame solely on me for the conditions of our community, and country, after the grand jury decision goes way too far and is as wrong as the decision itself. To declare a state of emergency and send a message of war, and not peace, before a grand jury decision was announced is also wrong. In the end, I’ve lived in this community for a long time. The last thing I truly wanted was to see it go up in flames. In spite of my frustration, it really hurt to see that. Now it's time to rebuild. If we are to honor Michael Brown's memory, we need to work together to make rebuilding happen.
— Ron Allen and Erin McClam