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Truly Sorry

Ferguson's police chief: 'I deeply apologise to the Brown family'

Thomas Jackson also said sorry to peaceful demonstrators in the city.

Devin James Group / Vimeo

FERGUSON’S POLICE CHIEF Thomas Jackson has apologised to Michael Brown’s family and to peaceful protesters who came to the city for equality rallies.

Speaking directly to camera in a police video, Jackson says he is “truly sorry” to the Brown family that it took so long for police to remove their son from the street after he died.

He acknowledged that it took investigators “too long” to collect evidence and “gain a true picture of what happened that day”.

“Please know that the investigating officers meant no disrespect to the Brown family, to the African-American community or the people (in the neighborhood where Brown was shot). They were simply trying to do their job,” he added.

Jackson also spoke directly to protesters, singling out those who came to Ferguson to demonstrate peacefully.

“There are many people who are upset about what happened in Ferguson and came here to protest peacefully.

“Unfortunately, there were others who had a different agenda. I do want to say to any peaceful protestors who did not feel that I did enough to protect their constitutional right to protest: I am sorry for that.

The right of the people to peacefully assemble is what the police are here to protect. If anyone who was peacefully exercising that right is upset and angry, I feel responsible and I am sorry.

“I’m also aware of the pain and the feeling of mistrust felt by some of the African-American community towards the police department. The city belongs to all of us and we are all part of this community. It is clear that we have much work to do.

“For any mistakes I’ve made, I take full responsibility. It’s an honor to serve the city of Ferguson and the people who live there. I look forward to working with you in the future to solve our problems, and once again, I deeply apologise to the Brown family.”

The apology comes after the shooting of the 18 year old kicked off a national conversation about racism in society and how policing is impacted. It also comes just days after more demonstrations kicked off this week. Again, they had turned into chaotic riots with vandalising and looting. Two officers were injured as a result of the violence.

Police had been criticised for responding by arming themselves with military gear.

“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. As chief of police, I want to be part of that conversation. I also want to be part of the solution,” continued Jackson today.

A grand jury has been convened, tasked with the decision on whether to charge Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown.

Read: America’s long history of police riots – the short version

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