(FERGUSON, Mo.) — The family of Michael Brown has not seen the videotaped apology by Police Chief Thomas Jackson of Ferguson, Missouri, their attorney said Thursday.
“We haven’t heard about it at all, and we’ll address that when we find out, get something official from them. We don’t have anything official,” attorney Benjamin Crump told reporters at the National Press Club. Brown’s parents appeared at the National Press Club on Thursday with civil rights leaders and the mother of Eric Garner, who was killed by New York City police in a chokehold this summer.
Michael Brown was unarmed when he was shot six times and killed by a Ferguson police officer this summer. The teenager’s body was left uncovered in the street for almost five hours after the shooting as police awaited the coroner and conducted an investigation. The shooting prompted outrage in the St. Louis suburb and days of protests, along with some incidents of looting.
“I want to say this to the Brown family: No one who has not experienced the loss of a child can understand what you’re feeling. I’m truly sorry for the loss of your son. I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street,” Jackson said in a video message posted online Thursday.
“The time that it took involved very important work on the part of investigators who were trying to collect evidence and gain a true picture of what happened that day, but it was just too long, and I am truly sorry for that,” Jackson said.
Jackson also apologized to protesters who were met with a confrontational police force.
“There were many people who were upset about what happened in Ferguson and came here to protest peacefully. Unfortunately there were others who had a different agenda,” he said. “I do want to say to any peaceful protester who feels I did not do enough to protect their constitutional right to protest peacefully, I’m sorry for that.”
Crump did not sound mollified by the police chief’s comments.
“Laying there on the ground for almost five hours in the baking sun — his mother and father and family are out trying to get to their child, and they got the police lines up, and they bring dogs to keep the community back. What about his constitutional rights? What about his due process?” Crump said.
The officer, who has been suspended with pay, claims that he was injured in the confrontation with Brown. A grand jury is investigating to determine whether to press charges against the officer. The Department of Justice is also looking into the case.
Brown’s parents, Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr., were flanked by the Rev. Al Sharpton, National Urban League CEO Marc Morial, new NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, and other civil rights leaders, who called for federal prosecutions of the officers who killed Brown and Garner. They also sought anti-racial-profiling legislation from Congress.
“I’m here in Washington to ask for help in getting justice for my son in Missouri,” McSpadden said. “Missouri has not showed us anything that we’re looking for.”
“I am here to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s family. This is very terrible for us, and for everyone else that has loss, and we are here to get justice. We need your help,” Michael Brown, Sr., said, wearing a necktie that bore an image of his late son.
The family members will meet with Congressional Black Caucus members while in Washington, according to Sharpton’s National Action Network. The CBC Foundation is holding its annual legislative conference at the Washington Convention Center Sept. 24-27.
Speakers made reference to the recent video showing a South Carolina officer shooting an unarmed man, and that officer’s arrest.
“In South Carolina, the police was arrested right away, justified. The police in our case, they’re sitting back. They’re still walking the street, they’re still getting paid. They said they took their gun and badge, but so what? They still go home to their families every night, they still have their salaries, but they need to be held accountable, everyone involved in my son’s death need to be accountable — the EMS, the police officers, everyone,” said Gwen Carr, Garner’s mother.
The South Carolina officer was arrested on Wednesday for the Sept. 4 shooting.
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