Police in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson "have heard the community's cries for justice" and are working to restore wavering confidence in the safety of their city, the department said in its first official statement since an unarmed teen was shot to death by one of its officers. Acknowledging that Ferguson residents are mourning Michael Brown, 18, who was killed on Saturday afternoon, the police department asked that anyone gathering in prayer or protest "do so only during daylight hours in an organized and respectful manner." The request came after three nights of violent unrest in Ferguson, which it said "are not indicative of the City of Ferguson and its residents."
Ferguson Police Department has been criticized for being vague about what led the officer to shoot at Brown multiple times as he was walking home on Saturday, and for refusing to disclose the identity of the officer involved. In its statement Wednesday, the department said it "will continue to cooperate fully in the investigations" by the St. Louis County Police Department, the FBI, and the Justice Department. "The City of Ferguson has been through tough situations in the past, albeit nothing to this magnitude, but will continue to display resilience and fortitude," it said.