Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has personally apologized to the family of slain teenager Michael Brown. The young man was gunned down by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, and his death led to numerous protests and international attention.
The apology, released by CNN, was directed specifically towards the Brown family.
“The events of the past few weeks have sent shockwaves. Overnight, I went from being a small town police chief to being part of a conversation about racism, equality, and the role of policing in that conversation,” Jackson said. “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 am truly sorry for the loss of your son.”
The police chief, who was promoted following the Michael Brown incident, added, “I’m also sorry that it took so long to remove Michael from the street. It was just too long, and I’m truly sorry for that.”
After being shot numerous times by police, Michael Brown’s body laid in the street for more than four hours. His body was eventually placed into a police SUV.
In his apology Jackson also spoke directly to protestors:
“To the people who were upset about what happening in Ferguson and came here to protest peacefully, unfortunately there were others who had a different agenda. I want to say to any peaceful protestor who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest, I’m sorry. For the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect. If anyone who was exercising that right feels upset and angry, I feel responsible and I’m sorry.”
The Ferguson police chief added, “For any mistakes I’ve made, I take full responsibility.”
The Ferguson shooting and following protests, have led to unwanted international attention. The incident was even addressed at a meeting of the United Nations.